Fees from Osakis clean up efforts to help pay for this year's Fourth of July fireworks

A portion of the fees will also be donated to the Sentence to Serve program in Todd and Wadena counties.


A clean up effort in Osakis was a success, according to Mayor Dan Wessel.

Wessel shared information at the Monday, June 14, City Council meeting about Clean Up Week, which took place May 10-15.

To date, the city collected nearly $4,300 but there is still some money to be collected. The city received a grant from Pope/Douglas Solid Waste Management, which helped to reduce the rates for residents and some of the fees paid by the city were also reduced.

“All in all, it went really well,” said Wessel. “Things went smoothly.”

He listed off some of the people that helped in the effort, including Osakis Boy Scouts, who Wessel said did a “great job helping.”


Dan Wessel

He also noted that for next year, there may be some changes based on what was learned from this year’s event. An example, he said, would be that residents would have to make sure whatever items needed to be picked up were out of their homes and outside ready to be picked up.

The City Council approved a $500 donation to the Sentence to Serve program from Todd and Wadena counties, as there was an Sentence to Serve crew that helped with the cleanup. The money, according to a letter from the program’s director, will help to purchase equipment used by the STS crew.

City Council members also approved spending some of the money collected from the clean up effort on this year’s Fourth of July fireworks. With donations from the VFW, Nelson Community Club and the Elks Lodge, along with clean up funds, the council approved spending a total of $7,600 on this year’s fireworks.

Leif Enger Day

City Council member Laura Backes made a motion to designate Sept. 15, 2021, as Leif Enger Day in Osakis.

Enger, who was born and raised in Osakis, is an author and wrote the novel, “Peace Like a River,” among many others.

To honor Enger, his contributions to the literary world and to recognize his love for his hometown, his publisher made the request to the city council to sign a proclamation to designate Sept. 15 as Leif Enger Day.


Enger will be honored with the proclamation at a literary event in St. Paul on Sept. 15.

Leif Enger
Leif Enger

In other action

The City Council also approved the following other items:

  • Hiring Bryan Lashinski as a part-time Osakis Police officer.
  • Purchasing equipment for three new firefighters – Kyle Swenstad, Dakotah Revering and Austin Beier.
  • Liquor license applications for O Town Tavern and Osakis Country Club.
  • Special event request from the Osakis Sportsmen Club to hold a shooting exhibit show on Sept. 11 featuring the Gould Brothers.
  • Work session to discuss rental ordinance, among other items. The date was set for Thursday, June 24, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.
Celeste Edenloff is the special projects editor and a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. She has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in 2016 to once again report on the community she calls home.
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