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City of Pelican Rapids

02/04/2008 Minutes of Continued Housing Meeting



The City Council of Pelican Rapids met in continued session from 01-29-08 regular session at 7:00 p.m., on Monday, 02-04-08, in the Pelican Rapids Public Library, 25 W. Mill Ave.  Mayor Wayne Runningen, Council Members Ben Woessner and John E. Waller, III were present.  Council Members Richard Peterson and David Gottenborg were absent.  Administrator Don Solga, Clerk-Treasurer Glenys Ehlert, Housing Consultant Steve Geisert, Superintendent of Schools Deb Wanek, School Board Members Jon Karger and Kathy Ouren, Lynn Stadum of West Central Minnesota Housing Partnership, Joy Solem and Gene Miller were also present.


Mayor Runningen reconvened the meeting.


Administrator Don Solga introduced Steve Geisert of Community Partners Research, Inc.


Steve Geisert reviewed the methodology in creating the housing study, reviewed sources of data.  Estimated the City of Pelican Rapids will grow by 43 people per year over the next nine years.  The City has a number of low income households.  Thirty percent of housing stock was built prior to 1940.


Summary of Findings/Recommendations have been developed in five categories:


            Rental Housing Development

            Home Ownership

            Single Family Housing Development

            Housing Rehabilitation

            Other Housing Issues


Strengths for Housing Development include location within commuting distance of Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes; Progressive City government; Economic Development Organization; commercial Development and Cultural Diversity.


Barriers include lower incomes limit housing choices, lower paying jobs, low rent structure; Competition with Fergus Falls and Detroit Lakes; Lack of Industrial Base; Competition with rural and lake lots; Distance from a Major Regional Center; Age and condition of the housing stock and Shortage of buildable lots.


If the City, local housing agencies and developers are proactive, 11 to 13 homes can be constructed annually in Pelican Rapids over the next five years.  This projection is based on the availability of attractive residential lots for new construction.  Higher priced homes in this community would be $175,000 and over.  Affordable homes would be below $175,000.


Develop a list of the infill lots and the land the City owns.


The City is right in the middle.  There is tremendous potential for development, but the City is going to have to work for it and partner with private developers.  Get developers and contractors together to look at limited partnerships to spread the liability.  We have 80 to 100 jobs coming – how many times does that happen?  Arlington developed the market for twin homes through community efforts.


Hopefully this is the beginning.


Meeting adjourned at 9:07 p.m.




Glenys Ehlert, CMC





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