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Otter Tail County declines to pay extra for Perham project

Commissioners support Perham project, as long as the county doesn't have to pay extra.

otc meeting.jpg
Otter Tail County commissioners declined to have county residents pay extra for a city of Perham project so that city residents could receive a lower interest rate.
Screen capture / Otter Tail County Commissioners meeting
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OTTER TAIL COUNTY – Otter Tail County commissioners declined to spend an extra $13,708 to save the city of Perham $150,000 on a project that included reconditioning portions of County Road 8, as well as a city sewer project.

During the monthly Otter Tail County Board meeting on Tuesday, June 14, County Engineer Charles Grotte said the bid went out with two packages. One package included additional costs that allow the project to meet requirements to receive a grant, as well as lower interest rates. Because the project is in Perham, those benefiting from the lower interest rate would be city residents.

Two bids were received with both package options. One company bid without grant work included, or just for package A.

Central Specialties, which is based in Alexandria, Minn., provided a bid of $9.43 million for package A and kept the cost the same for package B. The City of Perham awarded Central Specialties the bid.

Sellin Brothers of Hawley bid $9.46 million on package A and $9.48 million on package B.

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J.R. Ferche of Rice, Minn. bid $9.41 million for package A.

Going with package B increased the cost by $13,708. However, the additional grant requirements would reportedly reduce interest rates and save city residents more than $150,000 over the 15-year-term of the Public Facilities Authority loan.

Commissioners said they want Perham residents to receive a competitive interest rate for the project, however, the majority opposed spending more out of the pocket of other county taxpayers.

A vote to approve the bid was brought to the table, but failed 1-4. Commissioner Dan Bucholz was in favor. A second motion was made to approve, contingent on the county not being required to spend the additional $13,708. The vote reversed in favor 4-1, with Bucholz opposed.

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