Osakis City Council unanimously approves Eagle Scout project

Area Boy Scout presents idea to clean and renovate Lake Osakis beach and bath house

Osakis area Boy Scout Spencer Wolbeck passed out photos of Lake Osakis beach and held up a poster board of images for the council at its meeting at the community center Monday night.

His project could include removing rocks, picking up debris, raking, adding sand, as well as repairing and painting the bath house. He plans to raise money and find volunteers himself.

Spencer said he would like to start at the beginning of October so he can complete the project in spring 2021.

“I think you got yourself a job,” council member Jerry Olson said.

Council member Randy Anderson reminded Spencer to look at shoreline regulations before starting, as some of the rocks may have been placed to prevent gradual receding. Council member Laura Backes told Spencer that the hardware store would donate paint when that step in the project came.


Planning and zoning

The remaining units up for sale as a part of the Idlewilde Resort operations are being observed by people who want to rent them out on a monthly basis, but the sunset clause will eliminate that in the future.

Council member Justin Dahlheimer said that the Planning and Zoning Committee set deadlines for changes that need to be made to the property.

Water and sewer must be verified by the city and brought back for consideration by June 1, 2021. The pool building must either be improved or removed by November 2025, as Dahlheimer said it’s currently in disrepair.

If these deadlines are met, the sunset clause will be removed and typical regulations for a rental in Osakis will apply. Dahlheimer said the committee members “feel this is a great compromise.”

Liquor Store report

Reenie Goodwin, Osakis Liquor Store manager, said that the store had a pretty good month.

Goodwin said they plan to keep Happy Hour and they will not be doing bargo because it’s been difficult to cut off visitors at 50 percent capacity under COVID-19 guidelines. The staff could monitor one door, but Goodwin said they don’t always know who’s coming through the other three entrances.

Goodwin also requested to carry over additional vacation hours than the typical 48. Mayor Kip Emerson said he hoped that things would settle down enough so Goodwin could use her vacation time.

“I think it’s important to make a point that this year is kind of an extreme,” council member Backes said. “For this year, I don’t see a problem with it.”


Other items

  • City Clerk Angela Jacobson discussed the tax levy. The budget in the agenda packet suggested there would be no increase in 2020, but she proposed altering it to 1 percent as a precautionary measure. Jacobson also said that though the tax rate may feel high, it’s lower compared to most cities of a similar size.

  • Jacobson also addressed the city’s plan for a new water plant. The council approved the application to send to Rural Development for funding.

  • City Superintendent Greg Gottwald gave a public works update. He said that a mill and overlay project was completed on Queen Street, and a section of Lake Street was rerouted and new signs were placed. Council member Olson asked about the water tower painting project, but Gottwald said that won’t happen until 2022.

  • Clean-Up Day will be held Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9 to 11 a.m. in the Osakis Liquor Store parking lot. In the past, there’s been a free-will donation, but it will cost $15 per yard this year.

  • A letter was sent to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the proposed vacation of the plot of land on 4th Avenue E. The public hearing will take place at the council’s meeting Monday, Nov. 9.

Jasmine Johnson joined the Echo Press staff in May 2020 as a general assignment reporter. She grew up in Becker, Minn., and later studied journalism and graphic design at Bethel University in Arden Hills, Minn.
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