By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Greg Wagner and Amanda Quam from Fergus Falls-based West Central Initiative (WCI) provided a brief update to the Otter Tail County Board of Commissioners on June 25. They reviewed WCI efforts, organizational impacts to the region and planning within the past 18-months.

WCI has assisted Otter Tail County with numerous funding opportunities, projects and programs. Some highlights include:

• $2.7 million in community foundation grants

• Close to $200,000 in West Central Initiative grant

• More than $1 million in loans

• Close to $4 million in grants, loans and early childhood initiative dollars

• An increase in small business start-ups

• Covid relief grants to for-profit and non-profit businesses

• Main Street Economic Revitalization Grant (New York Mills selected along the Highway 10 corridor)

• Promise Act grant program applications are under review with Otter Tail County well represented

Safety programs contract

A motion by County Commissioner Wayne Johnson of Pelican Rapids and  seconded by Commissioner Dan Bucholz of Perham was passed and authorizes the appropriate county officials’ signatures to approve a one-year services agreement between Otter Tail County and Lakes Country Service Cooperative.

The effective date of July 1, 2024, is for services to support Otter Tail County in management of its environmental health and occupational safety programs.

Data services plan approved

County commissioners approved the transfer of Minnesota Department of Corrections data into Otter Tail County’s database with the cost to not exceed $19,500. This work order is part of Otter Tail County Probation Department’s transition to a Community Corrections service model.

The work order will allow for professional services provided by Strategic Technologies Inc.