By Louis Hoglund

Pelican Rapids may become the regional hub for the Otter Tail County highway department road crews.

A new garage facility, which would combine scattered county garages in Erhard, Vergas and Pelican, may be constructed in or near the city of Pelican.

That was the word from Otter Tail County Commissioner Wayne Johnson, at the Oct. 11 Pelican Rapids City Council meeting.

It could mean that all six county workers, now scattered at three locations, will now base out of Pelican Rapids–in a brand new facility.

Present facilities in Pelican, Erhard and Vergas are antiquated, said Johnson.

Pelican is attractive to county officials, including Otter Tail Highway Engineer Rick West, because of its central location.  Also, the county would prefer city sewer and water service–though it wouldn’t be an absolute criteria, said Johnson.

Engineer West has also had discussions with Pelican city administrator Don Solga on a site for the new garage.

“Pelican is the logical choice,” said Johnson, adding that the existing county garage in Pelican is likely to be vacated on June 1, 2017.  The county is seeking bonding money for construction of the new road department facility.

With the site vacated, which is located on the northeast side of Pelican Rapids, Johnson suggested that it might be a logical parcel of property for future residential development. The city of Pelican might be interested in purchasing the property, suggested Johnson, though the county would not likely be in a position to donate it.

Possible locations for the new county garage include a parcel directly south of the Lake Region Electric complex on the south edge of Pelican; and a site near the Howard Carlson turkey barns, on the west side of Highway 59 south of Pelican.