By Robert Williams


Prior to the regular city council meeting, a public hearing was held regarding a resolution for a Community Growth Partnership Application for Lawrence Lake Affordable Single-Family Housing on Tuesday, Nov. 14.

The partnership is offered by Otter Tail County (OTC) Community Development Agency that provides planning efforts, rebuilding, demolition costs, housing study and access to affordable housing. The application for the Lawrence Lake development was submitted by the city and any funds received will be distributed to the developer, according to OTC Community Development Director Amy Baldwin.

The funds requested is for a county grant in the amount of $10,000, which requires a 100 percent city match for an affordable home to be built in Lawrence Lake Acres. A qualifying owner would have to meet 115 percent of the area’s median income. According to Baldwin, for a household of four that is approximately $130,000 that adjusts annually.

The home would not be eligible for the general tax abatement program because it has an income component. 

“To help bring the cost down to the income of that buyer group is the reason for this grant ask,” said Baldwin. “The abatement would be up to $10,000 of the city’s future taxes on this home and they would come back to the county. We would front the grant to the developer to create this affordable home, so over the years, this program requires the city match to it. This is formally authorizing that abatement as part of this application.”

The council approved the resolution unanimously.

Nuisance properties

The Planning Commission reviewed nuisance properties in the village with the following actions:

Send a certified letter to 339 E. Frazee Ave., regarding garbage.

The city attorney will follow up on three vehicles at 280 1st Avenue.

All other nuisance properties have complied with city ordinance. 

The commissioners questioned the property at 101 E Mill St. The property allegedly has large amounts of dog waste and is in violation of too many dogs. According to the report, this prevents the neighbors from being able to enjoy their property. 

An unnamed property was discussed regarding a pungent cat smell. The city ordinance only applies to residential and not commercial, and potential changes to the ordinance may be in order as both cat and dog feces are a health hazard.


Services Building

An HVAC review of the future government services building at 131 Main by Hanson’s Plumbing and Heating showed the building has only one cooling unit at the back of the building and the planned construction of offices in the interior would require a new or additional unit.

The building has no basement or roof space, so doing the work now while construction is underway would be optimal for cost and construction.

The council approved the installation of a two-ton ductless heating and cooling system, in lieu of keeping the electrical heating and current unit. The bid for the project was $8,000. The work will be completed before the move from the former office at city hall.

Street closing

East Main Street will be closed for the Vergas Small Town Christmas celebration Saturday, Nov. 25, from 12-7 p.m.

Park Advisory Board

Carol Albright announced her resignation from the Park Board.