Photo by Barbie Porter
The county public works garage in Vergas is being vacated by the county. The county approached the city council to see if they would be interested in purchasing it.

By Barbie Porter


The Vergas City Council had several good news items having to do with personnel, property and money during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 13. 

A manager was hired for the Vergas Municipal Liquor Store. The council approved the personnel committee recommendation to hire Gail Kaplan, with a starting date in August. Two applicants applied for the position and were interviewed by the personnel committee.

Mayor Julie Bruhn said Kaplan brings a variety of skills, including: budgeting, accounting, personnel management, internal control auditing, mentoring and more. Bruhn added Kaplan served in the National Guard for 28 years as a finance office manager. In her position she works with benefits and is a compensation manager and operation manager. 

The council approved hiring Kaplan at $20.02 per hour.

As for the good news about property, the council was informed Otter Tail County Public Works will no longer be using the garage it has in downtown Vergas. A representative from the county explained they are consolidating garage facilities and they plan to vacate the one in Vergas next year. 

As a result, the city was asked if they would be interested in the garage. If the city was, the council would simply need to express interest to get the ball rolling with the county board.

The council unanimously approved requesting the county board consider offering the city the property first before putting it on the market.

The council discussed the additional parking the property would offer, and if the garage could be utilized.  

As for money the city received, Vergas City Clerk Julie Lammers explained a Small Cities Development Program Vergas offered to residents and businesses years ago saw some funds returned. 

Lammers recalled the city received $700,000 in the initial grant. Those looking to use the funds applied and if approved received money for updating the structure on their property. The catch was the individual needed to reside in their home for 10 years. Every year 10 percent of the amount granted to them was removed. If one moved prior to the 10 year benchmark, the money remaining on the grant returned to the city coffers and the property owner would need to pay the amount remaining.

The city has about $12,356 in the fund once again. Lammers said any resident or business interested in applying for those grant monies can do so at city hall.

Looney Daze 

preparations made

The council approved permits for the annual festival, Looney Daze. The permits included a beer garden. The difference this year is typically the beer garden services a lower alcohol content beer known as 3-2. The product has been in short supply. Lammers called the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Bureau and learned the council can issue a temporary permit for up to four days so regular beer could be sold. However, there would need to be a strict requirement that all drinks sold in the beer garden come from a can to prevent glass being used as well as stronger alcohol from being served.

The council also approved a request from Outstate Brewing Company to attend and serve its product Friday night and Saturday afternoon.

Public hearing set 

for Townline Road

Townline Road has been on the council’s agenda for several months. They agreed to dedicate the road, which means obtaining a necessary easement of 33-feet on each side of the road. It should be noted the road is shared with Hobart Township, which secured a portion of the roadway easement years ago. 

  The council approved a resolution to dedicate a public right-of-way and set a date for a public hearing before its next monthly council meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 6:30 p.m.

First liquor store 

fund transfer approved

The council approved transferring $15,000 from the liquor store into the general fund. Lammers explained the first transfer comes as the store is showing a profit of $30,000 on the year. She said, in past years a second  transfer is made later in the year.