The Historic City Hall, and its visitor information center, should be re-opened by May 1–if everything proceeds on schedule.
An operating agreement between the Otter Tail Lakes Country Association and the city of Pelican Rapids was approved at the council meeting March 26.
The office is expected to be open from May 1 to October 31. Targeted hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Additional hours and staff support would come from a list of local volunteers, including the Pelican Rapids Library and the Friends of the Public Library and possibly other local civic groups.
The lead staff person would be hired by the Otter Tail Lakes Country Association.
The agreement would also continue the office’s affiliation with the Minnesota Office of Tourism, as an officially-designated visitor information center.
The office has been closed since last fall, when the Pelican Rapids Chamber of Commerce voted to discontinue its agreement with the city. Previously, the Chamber occupied and staffed the building, which is owned by the city.
The city council budgeted $2,000 a month last year, in anticipation of the new arrangement. The city will “subsidize” Otter Tail Lakes Country Association in staffing the office, and the city is also responsible for upkeep, utilities and maintenance, which is about $5,000 to $6,000 per year.
A “volunteer coordinator” would arrange for volunteers to assist at the building. Glenys Ehlert, retired Pelican city clerk and member of the Friends of the Library, has been mentioned as a possibility for the position, noted Don Solga, city administrator.
Dan Hustad, Chamber of Commerce board member, said the board “is anxious to see it work, and is looking forward to a successful relationship.”
Also speaking on the subject was former mayor Wayne Runningen, who served on a temporary Historic City Hall committee to help write the agreement.
Under the terms, eith er party can terminate the agreement–with a 90 day notice.