County leaders are asking: what do we want our communities to look like in the next 25 years? This planning effort is aimed at capturing residents’ desires for the future of Otter Tail County. To engage residents and stakeholders the leadership team held four focus groups, one in each quadrant of the county, to listen to residents’ visions for the future of Otter Tail County. The focus group included students, teachers, senior citizens, farmers, business owners, members of the local arts community as well as local government officials and tourism stakeholders.
What should Otter Tail County be known for in 2040? This question was asked of focus group participants. The focus group emphasized the importance of public engagement by asking participants to identify opportunities and issues that may affect the future of the county.
“Otter Tail County’s Long-Range Strategic Planning effort is aimed at capturing peoples’ desires for the future,” stated County Administrator John Dinsmore. “Our goals are fairly straight-forward: Engage with residents and stakeholders, review our current ways of how we provide services, and develop a set of goals that will guide us for the next 25 years.”
Long-range strategic planning is an ongoing project that will require additional public feedback. Once priority plans are developed the public will be asked to participate in the planning process and serve on committees. Those familiar with the Otter Tail County Transportation Plan will recall a similar process occurred in soliciting public feedback and participants on committees.