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City council approves five-year capital improvement plan

The Perham City Council approved a five-year capital improvement plan for streets and utilities at their September meeting Monday evening.

City Engineer Jade Berube outlined plans between the years 2019 and 2024 that came to $20,957,000 of which the city would pay $11,596,750. The remaining $9,360,250 would be assessable.

Improvements on Second Ave. SW would commence in 2019 followed by a 2021 project on First Ave. N. Two projects are planned for 2023 -- one on Pinewood Lane and another on Eighth Ave. NW. Work on Main Street (County State Aid Highway 80), is scheduled for work in 2024. In 2025 work is being planned on Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Ave. SW.

Berube also introduced council members to eight projects beyond 2025.

A variance request from Herch Properties LLC with Reuter Family Dentistry to permit encroachment into a 20-foot side yard setback was approved by the council after Council Member Fred Lehmkuhl informed it the Planning Committee had previously okayed the request.

Reuter Dentistry Manager Ryan Reuter and Dr. Brandon Kvidt were present at the meeting. Reuter wishes to expand the facility located at 929 Market Street. Reuter and his wife, Heidi, have lived in Perham since 2010. Heidi presently practices dentistry in Wadena at 80 Juniper Ave.

Reuter pointed out that Kvidt brings new skills to the practice.

“We’ll be opening an office in Perham by the end of the year,” Reuter said.

The council approved an airport master plan for $117,000. The state of Minnesota will pick up $111,150 of the study cost with Perham’s cost coming to $5,850.

The council approved a request from the Goose Group for a Culinary Class Limited On Sale Liquor License contingent on approval by the state.

Gambling permit resolutions allowing the Perham Athletic Association to establish gambling at Westside Services and Disgruntled Brewery were approved.

Council approval was also given to a contribution of $45,000 to the Chamber Marketing Budget and a letter from Ehlers Finance to OSA in response to an claim of non-compliance of Tax Increment Financing dated Aug. 6.

The council approved a utility agreement with Zorbaz Restaurant, which is located at 45738 County Highway 51 on the southwest side of Little Pine Lake, to provide city sewer services.

At the close of the September meeting City Manager Jon Smith read a letter from Otter Tail County Public Health which went to 11 communities.

The Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners is currently considering implementing an ordinance known as Tobacco 21 which would restrict the sale of tobacco products to those 21 and older. The ordinance has been placed on the board’s agenda Oct. 9.

The letter pointed out that the county is aware some cities would like to be engaged in discussing a draft ordinance. It also stated that Public Health Director Diane Thorson and County Administrator John Dinsmore would be available to meet with staff and council members to answer questions and consider draft language.

Smith’s offer to invite Thorson and Dinsmore to Perham for such a discussion was approved.