This year's Taste of Osakis is one step closer after the town's city council approved a special event application.

The action was taken at the council's regular meeting Monday night, July 12.

Taste of Osakis will be expanded to one evening and one full day this year, Sept. 10 and 11, said Cory Abers, president of the Osakis Chamber of Commerce.

Friday night will be strictly music, while Saturday will see a variety of activities including bull riding, chainsaw carving, a car show and vendors, Abers said.

Abers added that Osakis Chamber members are all welcome to take part.

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"We hope it's a success," he said.

The council also moved to re-implement late fees on water bills starting in August.

Late fees have not appeared on the bills since April 2020, because of COVID-19.

Council member Laura Backes said that re-implementing the late fees is part of getting things back to normal.

"There has to be a point where you just have to say, 'OK, we're done with the free lunch.' It's time to pay the share," she said.

Dan Wessel
Dan Wessel

Osakis Mayor Dan Wessel said he agreed with the action "100%."

On the agenda for the council's August meeting will be a discussion of the city's dog licensing ordinance, which was prompted by the public comments section of Monday's meeting.

It was pointed out that while the location and rabies vaccination status of the city's dog population is kept track of via a yearly $15 fee, no such rule exists for cats.

Additionally, cats can wander free around town while dogs must be leashed.

The subject of a lifetime tag for dogs was broached. Both Wessel and Backes said that this has been discussed in the past, but has not moved beyond the discussion phase.

Wessel said he has seen "a strong push" to go toward a lifetime tag, but it would be more difficult to track the rabies vaccinations of dogs without the yearly license renewal.

This can be discussed "probably" at next month's meeting, he said.

Deputy City Clerk Lynette Swenstad said the city typically licenses about 230 dogs each year.

The council also adopted a mission statement: "To make a positive impact in our community where we live and work."