Haase added to Planning Commission

Contributed photo
A discovered leak in the roof of the Vergas Event Center is being investigated with a potential repair cost totalling up to $91,0000.

By Robert Williams


A roof leak has been detected near the women’s restroom of the Vergas Event Center and was announced at the meeting of the city council on Tuesday, May 14.

Initial discussions with Herzog Roofing, of Detroit Lakes, have resulted in multiple options. The leak has not been witnessed recently and no action was taken as the issue is being monitored during future moments of rainfall to reassess the problem.

A potential repair of the entire roof was estimated at approximately $91,0000. The work would include: flute fill installation; a layer of isocyanurate insulation mechanically anchored to the deck; an EPDM roofing system; flashings at the roof edge and penetrations, and other finishing  work.

The Event Center Advisory Committee asked the city council to reconsider a proposed 3×5-foot bulletin board that was requested to be hung by the back door. The council had denied the request at an earlier meeting. The council agreed unanimously to allow the purchase from the Event Center budget.

Planning Commission

Shane Hasse was assigned to the Planning Commission to replace Judy Kvam after her resignation.

Commission Chair Bruce Albright gave an update on 339 East Frazee Avenue, a nuisance property that has been notified multiple times by the city and has reached the stage where the city attorney will be involved. Albright has personally tried to contact the homeowner, who would not come to the door despite being home.

The city council voted unanimously to move the issue from the commission to the city attorney for further action.

A nuisance letter has also been mailed to 101 East Mill Street.


The Street/Sidewalks/Yard Waste Committee discussed future improvements to the alleys and parking lot south of Main Avenue that included Hanson’s Plumbing and Heating paving their back lot at the company’s expense. 

A Phase I survey needs to be conducted to correct current drainage issues in the area. Widseth Engineering proposed a topographic survey that would cost $3,000.

Phase II of the project would include design, specifications and the bidding process at an estimated cost of $11,000. The committee has yet to determine how the work would be paid for, but admit the engineering work needs to be done.

“I think it makes sense to have it engineered so that problem is fixed and it goes away,” said Chair Bruce Albright.

The council approved the Phase I study.


The council heard of the ongoing issues with the tax forfeited lots of the Sunny Oaks development at Dianne Avenue and Eva Street. The EDA/HRA will be paying the taxes on the lots in 2024, but requested the city council not assess those lots in 2025 until they are sold to private ownership.

Sales of the lots have been limited by strict income restrictions, along with increasing interest rates making a match between buyers and sellers. The going rate for new construction of “affordable housing” is roughly $250,000 at a minimum and a qualified buyer for the Sunny Oaks lots can only have a maximum income of $120,000, thus complicating financing options.

“You’re really only looking for this person that is a needle in a haystack,” said Albright. 

The city council approved the 2025 assessment removal.

An unnamed cul-de-sac in the Lawrence Lake Acres Development was named Oak Circle at the request of area residents and approved by council.

The city also accepted a donation of land (parcel 820000990306000) in Lawrence Lake Acres 1st addition.

Ringdahl Ambulance

A request was made for monetary contributions from townships and towns by Ringdahl Ambulance. Ringdahl has been meeting with Otter Tail County for over a year and the county does not want to take funding away from the state. 

Ambulances are not essential services, and the government does not have to pay for this service. Ambulances were run by volunteers a quarter century ago, but volunteerism is dying. 

There is a one-time emergency aid funding being discussed at the state level, which would help for 2024. Minnesota State Senator Jordan Rasmussen has introduced another bill to help with the crisis. 

Ringdahl had four crews, but now has only two crews. 

The service has received payments from: City of Pelican Rapids, Townships Norwegian Grove and Pelican. They have contracts with Candor and Erhard Grove Township. They are requesting any size payment.

Funds from Vergas are for either $5,163.78 if figuring by household or $6,652.96 if figuring by person. This information is based on all parcels with structures. If funding is not received, they will be decreasing their services from ALS (Advanced Life Support) to BLS Basic Life Support. 

The council agreed to pay the lesser amount in 2024 only.

Liquor Store

The council approved the resignation of part-time employee Sara Stone.

Park Board

The Park Board asked for surveillance technology near the Pickleball Courts at a cost of $833.

Camera systems are also being considered for the new government services office downtown and the lot in back. The work has two bids $2,178 or $4,890.

The parks budget would cover the funding for the park. General funds would be used for the city camera equipment.

The council approved the park camera and elected to table downtown cameras until more grant funding can be sought out and applied for.


Household Hazardous Waste Day is scheduled for Thursday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information on what can and cannot be collected search Household Hazardous Waste Mobile Collection at www.ottertailcounty.gov/