OTC Commissioners receive update on community health assessment

Photo by Tom Hintgen
Otter Tail County recently sold a building at 914 East Channing Avenue, Fergus Falls, formerly occupied by the Daily Journal in Fergus Falls. The building was temporarily used by county employees who work for the Motor Vehicle and Land and Resource departments.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

County commissioners, on Nov. 14, were informed about the sale of property (former Daily Journal building) in southeast Fergus Falls, used recently as a temporary location for the county’s Motor Vehicle/Driver’s License and Land and Resource Departments.

The county needed alternative space during the remodeling at the Government Services Center, on the northwest side of town, to continue to serve the public by the two aforementioned departments. Those departments functioned out of 914 East Channing, near Pebble Lake Road, for much of 2022 and part of 2023.

No longer needing the property, Otter Tail County followed the statutory process for sales of the building. The county has recouped all costs associated with the temporary location, including the purchase of the property and all improvements.

Community health assessment

County Public Health Director Jody Lien provided county commissioners with an update on the Community Health Assessment. This is a process that involves identifying the health and well-being needs and assets in communities throughout Otter Tail County. 

Community Health Boards, local Public Health and health care providers use the Community Health Assessment information to develop a community health improvement plan to identify local public health priorities and implementation strategies.

Otter Tail County Public Health is currently collecting data for the assessment using a survey.

Waterfowl management plan on the agenda

County commissioners were expected during the week of Nov. 27 to approve a request from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for acquisition of land in Aurdal Township, northeast of Feargus Falls.

A conveyance of easement for waterfowl management rights has been secured from Daniel Zierden and Tonya Zierden, owners of the property.

Habitat easements with the DNR and Fish and Wildlife Service are arranged by landowners who want to protect wildlife habitat. The land they put into an easement means that the landowner still owns the land and pays taxes.