Scammers, always looking for ways to steal money from law-abiding citizens, are making fraudulent phone calls related to jury duty. If you are called by someone who says there is a warrant for your arrest related to missed jury duty, do not make payments to them. Instead, call the Otter Tail County sheriff office at (218) 998-8555. Keep in mind that members of the public are never contacted by phone or email for jury service. Prospective jurors first receive an official court mailing. If you get a call about jury service, this likely is a scammer.
Current road funding from the Minnesota state legislature has not met the needs of counties such as Otter Tail County in recent years. To that end, some lawmakers in St. Paul are exploring the possibility of raising more roadway funds by raising the state gasoline tax, currently at 28.5 cents, and establishing a state tax on auto parts. "Democrats lean toward an increase in the gas tax and Republicans favor a tax on auto part sales, rental vehicles and leases," noted Steven Novak of the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA) who spoke Sept.
County board members were told on Sept. 4 to brace for possible health and human services cuts at the state level. The end result, if this takes hold, would be the need to raise taxes for county residents through the annual property tax levy. "Many people who have mental health and drug issues and should reside elsewhere are ending up in county jails across the state," noted Nancy Silesky of the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA) of which Otter Tail County is a member. She added that additional resources must be provided by the state for community services for the mentally ill.
According to the county sheriff detention center documents, a Perham woman was in custody related to neglect of a child charges. Taken to the county jail in Fergus Falls, reported by law enforcement on Aug. 31, was 20-year-old Amanda Guddendorf. Court records state that a three-month-old child was left alone for more than an hour on Short Road, southwest of Perham. Authorities were at the residence for another matter when child neglect also came to light. The child was later turned over to the father. A court appearance was forthcoming for Guddendorf.
A county ditch request from a land owner near Big McDonald Lake, north of Dent, was denied Sept. 4 by the county board of commissioners. County Ditch Inspector Kevin Fellbaum provided a brief history regarding a portion of Ditch 25 including the private property. The property owners requested a clean-out of Ditch 25 south of Highway 35. Concerns were expressed to county board members regarding the water quality in the area and the effect a clean-out could have on Big McDonald Lake.
County board members, seeing the need for a lobbyist during legislative sessions and a voice for Otter Tail County in St. Paul, agreed on Aug. 28 to hire Sarah Psick of Capital Solutions on a yearly contract basis. The monthly fee will be paid out of the Commissioners Contingency Fund with the remainder included in the county's 2019 budget. Otter Tail County's five-person board of commissioners made the decision after discussing the importance of a lobbyist monitoring issues of specific importance to the county. The contract will cover just the 2019 legislative session.
Most county residents know that the Otter Tail Lakes Country Association works to promote tourism. In addition, the mission statement also includes working to attract people to not only vacation here but also to relocate, work and live right here in Otter Tail County. The revised message is "visit, live and work" in Otter Tail County. Nick Leonard, the county's director of communications and external relations, told county board members on Aug.
County board members have been informed that the Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA) in New York Mills would like to own a different building. If that were to take place, the HRA would rehab the current building and open a daycare center in New York Mills. Previously, the county board found it was cost prohibitive to remodel a lower section of the county-owned office building north of downtown New York Mills into a daycare facility. However, a different use of the lower level of the county building in New York Mills is being explored.
The theft of close to $100 in quarters was reported to the sheriff office from a resident of Deer Creek on Aug. 27. Entry was made through a window and the money was taken from a glass jar. Deputies have conducted several interviews. Meds stolen near Bluffton A restaurant east of Bluffton reported that medication was stolen from a customer's unlocked vehicle in the restaurant parking lot on Aug. 27.
A final public meeting regarding dam removal and rock fishway options near Phelps Mill will be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept.