Starting in 2015 the FFDRC, together with City/Port Authority staff, began the process to acquire the 29-acre Dairy Site, a shuttered industrial property prominently located on the Otter Tail River, three blocks from Union Avenue. The buildings have been stripped of equipment and infrastructure and are in disrepair. They are a blight on the City and have been for nearly 20 years. After a start, stop and then another start and five continuations, the Fergus Falls Port Authority closed on the purchase of the Dairy Site on December 31, 2018. Demolition and site cleanup are anticipated to occur in 2020. At the conclusion of the demo/cleanup process will be the creation of the River Buffer (an area of approximately 11 acres) to be used for recreational purposes and river access; the remainder (an area of approximately 18 acres) will be set aside to generate future property tax dollars when it is re-developed into a higher use.
The FFDRC worked in conjunction with the City of Fergus Falls to draft language to be used for a State of Minnesota grant that would provide matching funds for the proposed acquisition of the Dairy Site. FFDRC coordinated efforts for donations that totaled $10,000 to be used for lobbying efforts, to gain legislative approval of the proposed grant. The efforts were successful and Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) awarded a $600,000 grant to the City of Fergus Falls on a first time application.