New trail expected to be constructed as soon as 2024

By Chad Koenen


Construction for the Tyler Wohlers Trail took a big step forward last week. 

The long-awaited trail will be constructed along Highway 78, beginning near the fishing pier and Otter Tail Lake boat access. The trail will head north to Ottertail. In order to complete the project, the city learned that it received a grant for $345,000 from the Minnesota Department of Transportation. 

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, May 18, the Ottertail City Council heard an update on the trail from Bob Schlieman, of Apex Engineering. While the city received the grant funding there are a few caveats with the grant, which will need to follow MnDOT guidelines and pay prevailing wages.

“The good news is we received some grant dollars, but there is some additional work that comes along with it,” he said. “Since it’s being provided by MnDOT everything has to be in accordance with MnDOT plans, procedures and things like that.”

Schlieman said the plan will be to construct the trail in 2024 with the additional grant funding. The total cost for the project is estimated to be $422,000, but Schlieman is hoping the project will come under the estimated cost.

In other news

• Held three public hearings concerning a housing tax abatement application for Red Pine Trail Lot 10, establishing a fire service fee and an ordinance concerning subdivision control. No comments were made by the public during the hearings.

• Heard an update on the Ottertail Fire Department concerning a need to plan to update the department’s grass fire gear, which was last updated in 2004, as well as PPE that were purchased five years ago but needs to be updated every 10 years. 

• Discussed the need to be proactive and address mental health issues with first responders. 

• Heard an update on the construction project for Maple Ave. South/community center alley, as well as the 2022 water tower project.