Otter Tail County’s plan to dissolve the Housing and Redevelopment Authority and move various functions to another agency will be the subject of a May 19 hearing. 

The plan has drawn the attention of conservative activists in the county, who contend that it establishes “centralized” rule and could diminish local control. In a document circulated by Cathy Colling, she contended the move is “dangerous for our Otter Tail County area…and Minnesota.”

Among a range of issues, the opposing faction contends the end result will give the federal Housing and Urban Development agency more control—at the expense of local governments. Colling and others have circulated an email that contends, in vague terms, that the move is “socialism” and offers a theory that the move will “destroy local rule and enforce Agenda 21, a United Nations comprehensive blueprint for sustainability and equity.” 

An April 28 presentation from Ron Branstner to an area group sparked a recent flurry of emails and contacts around the county—including the Pelican Rapids Press office. 

The initiative is an amendment to the county’s five-year plan. By dissolving the housing authority, various housing programs would be moved to the Otter Tail County Community Development Agency by January 1, 2023. 

Prior to the hearing, the county invites public comment, with the comment period extending to May 19, 3 p.m. 

Comments or questions may be directed to bdacy@co.ottertail.mn.us or 218-998-8731.

The Otter Tail County Housing and Redevelopment Authority was established in 1973 to remedy the shortage of affordable housing in the county and to redevelop areas that may be in substandard condition and have a detrimental effect on neighboring properties.