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Detroit Lake was once known for its pure ice. For years, ice was harvested by the ton to supply ice to cold storage businesses, homes and the railroad. Once automatic icemakers came around, though, ice harvesting was no longer needed and therefore ended one of the largest companies in Detroit Lakes at the time. Started in 1888, John West began harvesting the ice of Detroit Lake with just a few men's help.
Stories of the human race. That's how Patty Nunn describes the storytelling event in Frazee Friday night. "Some think it's for kids, but this is definitely for adults. It's not X-rated, but it's not going to be fairytales and folktales," organizer Nunn said. Friday at 7 p.m. in the Frazee Event Center three storytellers and one musical guest will perform. The storytellers include Michael Cotter, Bev Jackson and Nunn herself. "No performance fee needed here," she said of being able to perform and be an organizer of the event. Featured musical guest this year is Ann Reed.
Over the last few years, the municipal liquor stores of Becker County have been profitable, for the most part. All of the municipalities are on- and off-sale liquor establishments except Detroit Lakes and Vergas, which are both strictly off-sale. 2006 saw a revenue increase for some of the municipalities. Detroit Lakes, for instance, had $4.3 million in sales, $1 million in gross profit on those sales, and nearly $700,000 in net profit after all expenses.
Although tabled until April, the planning commission has begun work on the Tower Road Industrial Park. The park, formerly known as the Ray J. Anderson property, will feature 28 lots that are zoned I-2, heavy industrial. The land is located on Stoney Road and Tower Road, along Highway 59 North.
At the state of the school address Tuesday evening, Frazee-Vergas School District Superintendent Deron Stender gave a fairly grim outlook on cuts for 2007-08. "I think people think we can go out on the football field and dig up a can (of money). We don't have a can," he said of lack of funds for the district. Frazee has dropped below the 1,000 mark with 998 students -- 79 fewer than at the end of the 2005-06 school year -- and is facing an estimated $1.1 million deficit for the 2007-08 year.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is hoping to have the Highway 10 project done in two years instead of the initially planned three years. It used an incentive plan with construction bidders to ensure a quicker project. "It's a huge benefit to the public," Jeff Perkins, operations manager for Mn/DOT, said of getting the project done quicker. On Feb. 24, Mn/DOT let bids, with the low bidder coming back as Hoffman Construction Co. of Black River Falls, Wis. Monday, the company was accepted as the official contractors of the project.
Let the building begin. Detroit Lakes' Menards is opening Tuesday for business. Residents have been awaiting the arrival of the home improvement store since the start of 2005, when Menards outbid Home Depot for the land near Wal-Mart for $1.3 million. The Detroit Lakes Development Authority had the public utilities 98 acres of land appraised at $476,000. Menards bought just 56.6 acres of that because the rest was deemed unbuildable since it was wetlands.
Although no decisions have been made, the city is discussing the process of selling city-owned land. "In some cases, it's not really fair because people don't have a chance to bid," Alderman Leonard Heltemes said. Heltemes brought the issue to light after a small piece of property was sold last month to a man who requested it. The sale of property does come before the Detroit Lakes City Council for approval before a sale. Heltemes suggested that if a piece of land is worth a certain amount, it should be up for bid.
Becker County is showing interest in becoming a sustainable community. Earlier this month the Izaak Walton League and Natural Innovations brought Rolf Nordstorm to Detroit Lakes to speak about becoming a sustainable community. Becker County Housing and Economic Development Coordinator Guy Fischer, along with the city's seal of approval, is expressing his interest to Nordstorm that the area is interested in a sustainable future. "I'm happy the county, through Guy Fischer, was able to jump on this so soon," Alderman Bruce Imholte said.
Dunn Township is asking the Detroit Lakes Fire Department to give residents the option of fire service. Dunn Township Supervisor Mike Johnson asked the Detroit Lakes Public Safety Committee Monday to take their request for fire protection into consideration. The Pelican Rapids Fire Department covers Dunn Township, but some residents are opposed to what the fire department is asking of them. Johnson said Pelican Rapids is building a much-needed fire hall, but is asking Dunn Township residents to pay too large a share of the project. The city of Pelican Rapids will pay 30 percent, Dunn T