Frazee native Piper hired as county EDA Specialist

Contributed photo
Sheriff Todd Glander and the Becker County Board of Commissioners: Erica Jepson, Dave Meyer, John Okeson, Richard Vareberg and chairman Barry Nelson introduced the newest deputy Jason Klawuhn, center, after a swearing in ceremony during the most recent meeting of the board Tuesday, April 18.

By Robert Williams


Sheriff Todd Glander introduced the county’s newest deputy Jason Klawuhn at the Becker County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, April 18.

Klawuhn is currently in field training and has been on board the past few weeks, according to Glander.

Klawuhn is a Pennsylvania native who served in the United States Army for a decade. He has worked as a K-9 handler and narcotics investigator for White Earth police. He lives in the Cormorant area.

The board approved $12,206.60 of funds budgeted by the sheriff’s department in 2023 for the purchase of five radios at the jail. There is a five-year plan to replace and upgrade radio systems.

The board also approved a request to sell forfeited/unclaimed/abandoned property. The Becker County Sheriff’s Office (BSCO) will be selling unclaimed and forfeited firearms. The sale will consist of 3 shotguns, 8 rifles, 4 pistols and will be offered for sale in three lots to a Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) Dealer by way of scaled bid(s).

The firearms will be available for FFL dealers to view on Wednesday, May 3, between the hours of 9 a.m. and noon at the BCSO Conference Room.

The sheriff’s office is located at 25 Lake Avenue in Detroit Lakes.

Bidders must show and provide proof of an FFL license and must place an amount next to each gun and provide a total. An individual price list form will be available to use and include with sealed bid(s). Bid(s) will be accepted until 4 p.m. on May 3, at the BCSO.

Lot 1-Shotguns

1. New England Firearms 20 gauge

2. Remington 12 gauge 3. Mossberg 12 gauge

Lot 2- Rifles

1. JC Higgens Model #30.22 cal

2. SKS

3. Savage Model # 340 30-30 cal

4. Winchester Model #70 308 cal

5. Winchester Model #57A .22 cal 6. Browning 7 mm

7. Winchester 22 cal 8. Unknown older

Lot 3-Pistols

1. Cal West .22 cal

2. Sig Sauer 22 cal 3. Taurus Model PT 100AR 40 cal

4. Browning .22 cal

There are 11 different non-firearm lots, which include a: North Star ATV tank sprayer; Mr. Heater 75000 BTU heater Master BLP155AT propane heater with hose and regulator; Tahoe Power TP8000 LXU industrial grade generator with Honda engine; Solar panel; ION block rocker Bluetooth speaker/amplifier; ArticAir portable air-conditioner and dehumidifier; 15000-watt 30hp Generac Generator with electric start; Powerhouse 5000-watt extended run generator with Colman engine; Muskellunge crank baits and tackle box with muskellunge lures, and an Apollo XHS 14.25 X 22P propeller.

EDA Specialist hired

Frazee Economic Development Authority chairman Hank Ludtke spoke to the board during the open forum on the need for EDA leadership and the future of the Recreational Advisory Committee. According to Oman, the county has recently offered the EDA position and hired current county employee Cody Piper. Piper, a Frazee native, is currently the Chief Assessor and will begin his new position May 8.

“We’re very excited to bring him on board,” said Oman.

The EDA Specialist plans, organizes, and implements all economic development functions from conception to completion, including business retention, business attraction, and incentive programs; administers loan/grant programs; performs a variety of responsible administrative, professional, and technical tasks. Develops economic development strategies for implementing economic development goals and objectives for wealth creation in Becker County. Interfaces and coordinates with the development community, local businesses, and various county departments and staff.

The future of the Recreational Advisory Committee was tabled to get directions from Piper and input from the committee on goals and sustainability. 

Pelican River 

Watershed District

The board will be advertising two open positions on the Pelican River Watershed District Board of Managers, according to County Administrator Pat Oman. The people currently in those positions have expressed interest in returning, but the board is mandated to advertise the openings for 30 days.

The Pelican River Watershed District manages water resources of 120 square miles in Becker and Otter Tail Counties and includes the upper reaches of the Pelican River which eventually drains to the Otter Tail and Red Rivers.

County Surveyor 


The board recognized Becker County Surveyor Roy Smith for his service and upcoming retirement. Smith has been the county surveyor since 1981 and began surveying in 1969.

“When I started in ‘69, that was before zoning. We implemented the zoning in ‘72 and as I got to looking back with the people I worked with, I worked with at least five zoning officers, five county recorders, four or five assessors and treasurers and when you ask what I’ve done in the last 45 years, I’ve been involved with a lot of different people and 20 different county boards,” Smith said. “I’ve worked with a lot of good people and Becker County is a great place to make a living and I found that out many years ago.”

Public Works

A bid in the amount of $3,484,815 was awarded to Mark Sand & Gravel Company of Fergus Falls for paving work on County Roads 6, 21, the Public Works site and township roads in Audubon, Lakeview and Detroit Townships.

The townships will need to approve those projects at the next scheduled meetings.

A bid of $41,260 was approved as a capital expenditure for the purchase and installation of required WiFi network equipment at the new highway building. The equipment is required to allow employees to connect to the county courthouse and the internet. Funds will be dispersed from the county’s special reserve fund, according to board chair Barry Nelson.

Land Use/Environmental Services

Bids for electrical work at the MinnKota Recycling Facility were approved. Malmstrom Electric was awarded $8,390 for baler and conveyor connections. Marks Electric’s bid of $3,200 was approved to extend fire pump connections from the building to a well. An 800 amp transformer purchase to prepare for an upgrade to the sorting equipment line was approved for the low bid of $74,064 to Ace Electric. A future grant could be used to defer some cost of the latter if approved.

Solid Waste campus hours

Due to lack of traffic late in the day, the hours of the Solid Waste Campus will be changed to 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturdays.

Parks & Rec

A previous bid of $16,000 was increased to $18,000 for architectural services to design and bid out the construction package for the new Dunton Locks shelter. 

The board signed off on the Bucks Mill Purchase Agreement. With a grant from the Department of Natural resources the county is purchasing 1.5 acres from private sellers to reroute the Pelican River and bypass the dam and overflow structure.