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Otter Tail County may get $100,000 from arson suspect for burned bridge

The bridge near Star Lake was burned by arson last fall. Replacing the bridge will cost about $1 million. Most of that will come from Otter Tail County taxpayers, as it was uninsured.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. — Otter Tail County may be close to getting another $100,000 toward the County Road 41 bridge at Star Lake near Dent, Minn., destroyed by arson last September.

County Attorney Michelle Eldien told county commissioners at their Tuesday, Feb. 9, meeting that a judge had agreed to secure $100,000 belonging to the defendant in the case, pending the results of a criminal trial.

“It was about all we could get held after the incident,” she said. “We’ve still got work to do on it. But I thought that was a positive.”

The funds are being held by a mortgage county for possible release as restitution, she said. Ryan Curtis Johnson of Dent has been charged in connection with the case.

Replacing the bridge will cost about $1 million. Most of that will come from Otter Tail County taxpayers, as it was uninsured.

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The wooden part of the bridge on County Road 41 over a narrow part of Star Lake has been burnt to the point where the bridge is unsafe to be driven or walked across. (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

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