New addition to City Center begins to take shape in NYM

Construction crews worked near the City Center building in New York Mills last week. The construction crews took out the old concrete and prepared the soil for the new footings that could be installed as part of the public utility building addition.

By Chad Koenen


Newtonville residents could soon become residents of the City of New York Mills.

During its regularly scheduled meeting last week, the NY Mills City Council approved to proceed with the next step in the annexation process. The decision will affect 36 parcels of land adjacent to the city limits. The motion to proceed with the next step in the annexation process was approved by a 3-2 vote, with councilmen Logyn Saewert and Josh Hoaby voting in dissent.

Both Hoaby and Saewert said comments they received from residents during a public hearing a few months ago, as well as a signed letter the council received from approximately 30 people, were that some of the residents in Newtonville would prefer to stay in Newton Township.

“We really did get an overwhelming response from residents in the area that they didn’t want (to be annexed),” said Hoaby.

However, city clerk Julie Roberts said many of the signatures on the letter the city received were from people of the same household and were counted separately. 

Newtonville could soon become part of the City of NY Mills after the city council proceeded with annexing 36 parcels just outside of town.

Councilman Jerry Nesland said change can be difficult sometimes, but spoke about the potential benefits of being in the city limits as well. He also said the city council should either annex all of the properties in Newtonville or none of them as there would be a potential for difficulties down the road for things like utility and street maintenance. 

Mayor Marsha Maki agreed with Nesland that the city council should proceed with annexing all 36 properties, or none of them, due to the concern over future road maintenance and repairs. 

Councilman Latham Hetland said his biggest concern regarding annexing the properties centered around the future repairs needed for South Walker Ave. Once the city annexes the properties it will then come under the umbrella of the City of NY Mills and not Newton Township.

On a 3-2 vote, the City of NY Mills will draft a letter of intent for annexation by ordinance and present it to Newton Township. The township will have 90 days to appeal or provide feedback on the annexation. The City of NY Mills could also ultimately decide against annexation of Newtonville at a later date.

In other news

• Heard the monthly report from Mills Liquor. The combined gross sales for the month were up 5 percent from the prior year and the net revenues for the month were up 2 percent as a percentage of sales from the prior year. 

• Heard the police department report, which stated the department completed DARE lessons 7-10 and the group attended the annual Minnesota Twins game as a school. The police department responded to 112 calls for service in April, issued 2 citations and made 2 arrests. 

• Heard the North Boardman construction project won’t be started until sometime in July and the public works department will coordinate the project after the Summer Celebration. 

• Received a quote for SCADA upgrades through Verizon from Source Inc. Wireless Solutions for $7,871.57, which includes the cellular communication modems with Wi-Fi capability, SIM cards and one year of service. Each year after the city will need to pay the service fee for 4G LTE commutations and technical support that will be around $2,000. 

• Heard the refunding for taxes paid by the Perham Hospital District from 2015-21 will be recovered through four repayments beginning Aug. 1, 2023 through Feb. 1, 2025. The taxes were paid, but need to be refunded due to an error that was discovered. The City of NY Mills will be responsible for $93,058.40 in taxes and interest that is owed to the hospital district. Several other communities will also need to issue a similar refund to the hospital district. 

• Held a public hearing regarding the approval for the issuance of general obligation capital improvement plan bonds in the amount not to exceed $1.3 million for the public works building addition at the City Center building. The current interest rate for the bond is 3.4 percent, which could be issued on June 14. Recently, interest rates were as low as 2.5 percent for a similar general obligation capital improvement bond. 

• Approved a resolution to call for a public hearing on a proposal to combine the Otter Tail County Housing and Redevelopment Authority and the Otter Tail County Community Development Agency as one organization. 

• Approved a low bid by Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors from West Fargo, N.D., in the amount of $162,172 for the city hall boiler replacement project. The low bid was withdrawn by the contractor and the city council awarded the bid to the second lowest qualified bidder. 

• Approved the purchase of a property located on 110 South Main for $500 plus $7,115 in assessments from Mahube-Otwa. The building had previously been used for storage, but the city council said it could be sold for a new business or storefront.