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VRBO tops city council discussions

Questions and concerns about whether the city should regulate property owners who rent out their lake homes was a prime topic at the Osakis City Council meeting Monday, July 2.

The council weighed the pros and cons of VRBO — vacation rentals by owner — in the community. Discussions ranged from their economic advantage to their privacy invasiveness.

As it stands, councilmember Justin Dahlheimer said, there are currently no repercussions for those who break the established ordinances.

Members in attendance voiced concerns that their privacy is being invaded by the temporary neighbors and that it can be risky to allow just anyone to stay in the community without a proper background check. But Dahlheimer doubled down, pointing again at the lack of enforceable guidelines for landlords.

After much dialogue on both sides of the issue, the council voted in favor of getting more information about a rental ordinance and how to approach VRBOs in the future. At a later date, the council could decide to call for a public hearing regarding adoption of an ordinance.

Also during the June 2 meeting, the council discussed the potential of setting up a volleyball court at the liquor store.

City crew employee Greg Gottwald said they have poles ready for a volleyball court, potentially down at the beach, but councilmember Jerry Olson said he'd rather see them at the liquor store.

"Forget about the beach," Olson said. "Let's focus on what makes the city money... Let's do something. I keep saying that every meeting."

An update on the organics food composting program was also provided. A total of 73 people have signed up for the program as of the July 2 meeting.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.

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