Otto Associates celebrates grand opening of Lakeside Oasis Hospice Facility

Lakeside Oasis dedication leading to the opening later this month

Otto Associates is proud to have provided surveying and engineering services for the new Lakeside Oasis in Buffalo, MN. A portion of our services were donated to the project and it has been rewarding to see the hard work of all involved come to a successful completion.  Below is an article from the Wright County Journal Press.

Opening later this month, the newly constructed Lakeside Oasis hospice facility in Buffalo was dedicated this week, and an open house was well attended.  (Photo by Doug Voerding)



By Doug Voerding

            A place that offers comfort for the dying and for their families will now be available in Buffalo.  After five years of planning, fundraising and construction, Lakeside Oasis, a hospice, will open later this month.

            An open house and special dedication was held Tuesday afternoon, July 8 at Lakeside Oasis, where five hospice suites face Sturges Park and Buffalo Lake.

            The suites are designed for skilled hospice care, allowing families to join their loved ones as they all face the dying process.  Near the suites is a large common area with a full kitchen, a living room, a dining room, and a children's playroom.  Outside the living room is a sun deck.

            A small chapel is across the hall from the suites.  The three stained glass windows in the chapel highlight the three stages of life - birth, living and dying.

            The planning for the hospice was headed by the Community Health Foundation of Wright County (CHFWC) with its board of directors and its executive director Laura Jones.  During the fundraising years, CHFWC merged with Elim Care, Inc.

            The organization worked five years to raise the $1 million needed for the project.  Buffalo Clinic was the major donor with its gift of $200,000.  More than 175 organizations and individuals donated more than $1,000 each.  And, according to Jones, thousands of smaller donations helped CHFWC reach the goal that insured the construction of the hospice.

            The hospice will be managed by Elim Care and will be staffed with nurses 24-hours a day.

            At the dedication, Dave Kiel, vice-president of fund development for Elim Care, presented Jones with a small retirement gift.

            Said Jones, "Years of work and prayer and generosity has culminated in this beautiful place called Lakeside Oasis."

Otto staff provides information for Wright County Journal Press

Buffalo Lake no wake resolution, bus services addressed by Board

Last Friday, June 27, a survey crew shot the water level of Buffalo Lake and measured an elevation of 918.41.  The OHW (ordinary high water level) of the lake is 914.73, and the highest known elevation is 919.65 (in 1997), said Cara Schwahn Otto of Otto Associates.  The photo shows one of several submerged docks on the north shore.  (Photo by Ed DuBois)



By Ed DuBois

            A no wake resolution for Buffalo Lake and bus services were two of the topics at the Wright County Board meeting last Tuesday, July 1.

            With the water level of Buffalo Lake near an all-time high due to excessive rain in June, the county commissioners considered concurrence with the City of Buffalo regarding the declaration of a no wake restriction for 30 days.

            Board Chair Chris Husom expressed reservations because the lake is touched by Rockford, Marysville and Chatham Townships, and the township boards have not had time to meet and discuss the matter in regard to whether or not to provide their support for the restriction.

            Husom and other board members were in general agreement that a better way to handle no wake restrictions is to establish a normal high water mark and set up no wake criteria well ahead of a possible emergency situation.  However, the high water is here now, and a no wake restriction would help reduce wave action, which can result in shoreline erosion and hamper flood control measures.

            Commissioner Mark Daleiden said major damage could occur while waiting too long to enact a no wake restriction.  He offered a motion to go ahead and pass the no wake resolution.  His motion passed 3-2 with Commissioners Daleiden, Mike Potter and Charlie Borrell in favor and Husom and Pat Sawatzke opposed.

            The no wake restriction for 30 days involves areas within 300 feet of the shore.

            Cara Schwahn Otto, senior vice president with the Otto Associates surveying and engineering company in Buffalo, recently told the Journal-Press that last Friday, June 27, their survey crew shot the water level of Buffalo Lake.  It measured an elevation of 918.41.  The OHW (ordinary high water level) of the lake is 914.73 and the highest known elevation, according to the Minnesota DNR, is 919.65 (in 1997).

            She was asked about 1965, and she said the 1997 elevation is what the DNR lists as the highest known level, but their online records don't go back to 1965.  (See  FEMA has the 100 year flood elevation set at 922, so it's likely there were higher levels at one time, Otto said.

            The county commissioners discussed the idea of addressing no wake criteria with all lake associations this fall.

Otto client turns barn into new event center

Steve Schussler and his $1 million barn renovation, now named Green Acres Event Center, was featured in the Star Tribune today.  In 2010 Schussler purchased the barn (located at 14150 Pioneer Trail in Eden Prairie) from the County.  It originally faced extinction for a road-widening project until history buffs argued that it should be preserved.  The barn is one of only a half dozen in the nation with the 1940s arch-roof architecture.  

Schussler turned the barn into an elegant event center, including crystal chandeliers, a wine cellar in the silo, vintage jukeboxes, pianos, artwork and more.  It will be open in Spring of 2013.

Otto Associates surveyed the property and barn last January and wish Mr. Schussler continued success.

For additional information, the Star Tribune article can be found here.