Turning space to increase at Hwy 87 crossing

Contributed photo
Plans are progressing for Wannigan Regional Park with requests already being taken for events to be hosted and plans for a security system that will allow the park to officially be opened upon installation.

By Robert Williams


The Frazee City Council agreed to a future trail easement proposal for recording in November between the city and the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) at the latest council meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 23. 

The easement will be attached to the property after the Frazee Community Development Corporation (FCDC) transfers land ownership to the city, which is expected in September.

The easement is for a non-motorized hiking trail running north into the park. A suggested route is staked and will be mowed by NCTA this fall or next spring.

“Since it’s a mowed path, it can easily be moved as plans for the park come together,” said FCDC member Polly Andersen.

The trail plan is still in preliminary staging and will be mapped for the formal approval of the easement.

The FCDC has discussed security at the future park with state agencies and Frazee Chief of Police Tyler Trieglaff. One option is to use the existing city security system.

“We feel very strongly about having the security system out there before we formally open,” Andersen said. “We want to be sure that the park is safe for everybody.”

Security discussions are ongoing and future recommendations will be brought to the council for approval.

Funding for the security system extension is planned to be covered by the FCDC.

FCDC has begun to receive requests for hosting future events. The Detroit Lakes Chamber of Commerce has requested a field trip to Wannigan Regional Park in congruence with the 27th annual Festival of Birds in mid-May of 2024.

There is no official opening date set for Wannigan Park yet. Having the security system installed and operational is one of the steps that needs to be completed first. Other smaller events may occur prior to that.

The North Country Hiking Club has expressed interest in having a morning event in October, that would involve the Becker County Museum and inviting the public to learn about the history of the land and hike the proposed trail.

FCDC is applying for a Land Management Grant in developing a forestry plan for the park to be used to manage the trees on the property. The grant is 100 percent funded by the state. A budget and executive summary will be submitted to the council at the Sept. 11 meeting for council approval of the grant application.

Public Works 

Public Works Supervisor Larry Stephenson reported that city workers pressure washed the wall next to the post office after the recent demolition of the Sanders and former Seip buildings. 

City Administrator Stephanie Poegel invited Stephenson to the next Economic Development Authority (EDA) meeting to join the discussion of future plans for the area. The EDA meets Tuesday, Aug. 29 at the fire hall beginning at 11:30 a.m.

The department has been recycling items that have been stored over the past few years and is hauling scrap in hopes of raising enough money to purchase a demolition saw to be used for curb and sidewalk cutouts.

The Tuff Curb high-visibility traffic separators have been taking a beating with one being completely destroyed earlier in the week. The yellow separators are part of the railway quiet zone.

Public Works Supervisor Larry Stephenson is hoping to avoid having to make replacements as truck drivers become accustomed to the new truck route through town and other drivers slow down and avoid the separators. The system has been installed for one month and increased traffic from the Highway 34 construction are contributing factors.

“This detour coming through town has created more traffic than we’ve ever seen through town,” said Stephenson.

One change that will help alleviate the situation is on the south side of the Highway 87 crossing, which was installed with one too many sections, according to Vice Mayor Mike Sharp.

According to Sharp, that is the section that gets run over the most. 

“Being too long is not a problem other than you have to maintain one additional section,” said Sharp.

The most southern section will be removed and the end cap moved in.

A pedestrian maze for crossing the area will be installed once the Minnesota Department of Transportation installs posts.

Open Forum

Roger Boe discussed upcoming changes to City Ordinance 8-4-2 regarding solid waste disposal and collection. 

“A lot of people move to a small town just to get away from some of these ordinances that they don’t necessarily want,” said Boe.

The city council will be holding a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 11, to discuss the potential ordinance adjustments. 

Some of the proposed changes, like having commercial dumpsters secured in screened enclosures, will grandfather existing businesses and only apply to new commercial buildings built after January 1, 2024.

The public hearing will be held at 6 p.m., prior to the next council meeting on Sept. 11.

Event center

Event Center manager Jolene Tappe reported on a busy month of July, including hosting many events during Turkey Days.

The roof of the event center and Liquor Store has been inspected recently for future repairs. One upcoming wedding booking at the event center is being moved upstairs from the White Room after recent flooding following heavy rainfall.

A report on the status of the roof is expected by the end of this week and the liquor committee will be meeting on Sept. 6 to review and bring to council the following week.


The Frazee Fire Department responded to six calls in July: 3 landing zones, 2 hazmat and  1 mutual aid.

The department received a $15,000 grant from Burlington Northern Santa Fe, which will be used to help pay for the new grass rig. Another $15,000 grant was received from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant, which will be used to purchase wildland gear. 

Wildland gear helps reduce wear and tear on structure gear, and it is also much lighter and cooler than the structure gear.

Firefighter testing will be held Wednesday, Sept. 6.


The police department enforced nine city ordinance violations in July and sent out 14 letters to owners not in compliance including one garbage complaint, six owners of weedy lawns, and two vehicles in front yards were addressed. 

Police Chief Tyler Trieglaff was absent Wednesday, while attending ALICE Training with Elementary School Principal Travis Nagel in Duluth.

ALICE Training is a civilian active shooter response training that provides students and staff with effective response options in the event of an active shooter situation.

Trieglaff is going to incorporate an updated training plan with the school system in the event of an incident.


In July, city admin processed: 14 campsite rentals; 1 pet license; 1 building permit; 1 rental registration and 18 properties (85 units) were inspected.

The city renewed its annual rental agreement with Frazee-Vergas School District for costs associated with the operation of the Lake Agassiz Regional Library within district property.

The city pays the district $275 per month.