Living in Fergus Falls

File:Fergus Falls, Minnesota 01.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

Fergus Falls is a city in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, located in the western part of the state. The city has a population of around 13,000 people and covers an area of approximately 15 square miles. 

Fergus Falls is known for its beautiful natural surroundings, including lakes, forests, and rolling hills. The city is home to several parks and recreation areas, such as Grotto Park and the Central Lakes Trail, which offers miles of biking and hiking paths.

The city is also rich in history, with several historic buildings and landmarks, such as the Fergus Falls State Hospital and the Kirkbride Building. The Fergus Falls State Hospital was a psychiatric hospital that operated from the late 1800s to the mid-20th century, and its Kirkbride Building is a striking example of Victorian-era architecture.

In addition to its natural and historical attractions, Fergus Falls also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with several galleries, theaters, and music venues. The city hosts several annual events, such as the Fergus Falls Downtown Riverfront Arts Crawl and the Otter Tail County Fair.

Overall, Fergus Falls is a charming and picturesque city with a rich history and plenty of recreational and cultural opportunities. 

1.        Cost of Living 

The cost of living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota is relatively low compared to the national average. Housing is particularly affordable in Fergus Falls, with a median home price of around $150,000, which is significantly lower than the national median home price. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Fergus Falls costs around $600-800 per month, which is also lower than the national average.

Saving money for buying a house | 🇩🇪Professional Photograp… | Flickr

Other expenses in Fergus Falls are generally in line with the national average, including groceries, utilities, and healthcare. The cost of transportation in Fergus Falls is also relatively low, with gas prices typically lower than the national average.

Overall, Fergus Falls is an affordable place to live, particularly for those seeking a lower cost of living. The city has a variety of housing options at affordable prices, and the cost of other expenses is generally in line with the national average. This makes Fergus Falls an attractive option for those looking to stretch their dollars further while still enjoying a high quality of life.

2.        Safety

Fergus Falls, Minnesota is a relatively safe place to live. The city has a lower crime rate than the national average, with both property and violent crime rates below the national average. 

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The Fergus Falls Police Department works to ensure the safety of the community by maintaining a visible presence, responding to calls for service, and enforcing laws and ordinances. The department also offers community outreach programs, such as neighborhood watch groups, to help residents stay informed and engaged in crime prevention efforts.

In addition to the police department, Fergus Falls has a strong sense of community and neighborliness, with residents looking out for one another and reporting any suspicious activity they may observe. The city also benefits from its location in Otter Tail County, which has a reputation for being a safe and secure area.

Overall, while no city is completely free from crime, Fergus Falls has a relatively low crime rate and a strong community that works together to maintain safety and security.

3.        Schools

Fergus Falls, Minnesota has a strong public school system that is known for its academic excellence and commitment to student success. The Fergus Falls Public Schools District serves students in grades K-12 and has a total enrollment of around 2,800 students.

File:Hillcrest Lutheran Academy - Fergus Falls, Minnesota 01.jpg -  Wikimedia Commons

The district is home to several highly rated schools, including Fergus Falls High School, Kennedy Secondary School, and Adams Elementary School. The schools offer a wide range of academic programs, including Advanced Placement courses, career and technical education programs, and special education services.

In addition to its strong academic programs, the Fergus Falls Public Schools District offers a variety of extracurricular activities and athletics programs, including football, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and more. The district also has a strong music and arts program, with opportunities for students to participate in band, choir, theater, and visual arts.

The Fergus Falls Public Schools District is committed to providing a high-quality education to all students, and has a dedicated staff of teachers and administrators who work to ensure that every student has the opportunity to succeed. 

4.        Job Opportunities

Fergus Falls, Minnesota offers a variety of job opportunities across several industries. The city has a diverse economy, with a mix of manufacturing, healthcare, retail, and service-oriented businesses.

The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in Fergus Falls, with several healthcare providers in the area, including Lake Region Healthcare and Fergus Falls State Hospital. Manufacturing is also a significant industry in the city, with several companies such as Otter Tail Corporation, DeZURIK, and Red Horse Products.

woman standing in front of children

Retail and service-oriented businesses also provide job opportunities in Fergus Falls. The city has a vibrant downtown area with several shops, restaurants, and other businesses that offer a variety of employment opportunities. The city is also home to several chain stores, such as Walmart and Menards.

In addition to these industries, Fergus Falls is also home to several educational institutions, including Minnesota State Community and Technical College, which offers job opportunities in education and related fields.

Overall, Fergus Falls offers a variety of job opportunities across several industries, making it an attractive option for those looking to establish a career or start a new job.

Here are the Top 5 Employers in Fergus Falls:

1.  Lake Region Healthcare - A non-profit healthcare organization that operates a hospital, clinics, and rehabilitation services throughout the area. It is also the largest employer in Fergus Falls, with around 1,100 employees. 

2.  Fergus Falls Public Schools - The school district employs over 400 teachers, administrators, and support staff, making it one of the largest employers in the city.

3.  Otter Tail Corporation - A publicly traded company headquartered in Fergus Falls that provides energy, infrastructure, and related services. It employs around 300 people in the city.

4.  Minnesota State Community and Technical College - The Fergus Falls campus of this two-year college is one of the largest employers in the city, with around 250 employees.

5.  West Tool & Design - A manufacturing company that specializes in precision machining, engineering, and tool design. It employs around 200 people in Fergus Falls. 

5.        Weather

Fergus Falls, Minnesota experiences a typical Midwestern continental climate, characterized by cold winters and warm summers. The city has four distinct seasons, with each season offering its own unique climate and weather patterns.

dirt road cover by snow

Winters in Fergus Falls are cold and snowy, with temperatures averaging between 10°F and 20°F (-12°C to -7°C) in January, the coldest month. Snowfall is common during the winter months, with an average of around 50 inches of snow per year.

Spring in Fergus Falls is mild and pleasant, with temperatures gradually warming up from March to May. The city experiences occasional thunderstorms during the spring months, but severe weather is relatively rare.

Summer in Fergus Falls is warm and humid, with temperatures averaging between 70°F and 80°F (21°C to 27°C) in July, the hottest month. The city experiences occasional heatwaves during the summer months, but overall, the climate is mild and enjoyable.

Fall in Fergus Falls is cool and crisp, with temperatures gradually cooling down from September to November. The city experiences beautiful fall foliage during this time, with the leaves changing to vibrant shades of orange, red, and yellow.

Overall, Fergus Falls experiences a typical Midwestern continental climate, with cold winters and warm summers and a beautiful fall season in between.

6.        Transportation 

Fergus Falls, Minnesota has several transportation options available for residents and visitors. The city is located along U.S. Highway 59, which connects to Interstate 94 just south of the city, providing easy access to nearby communities and larger cities like Minneapolis and Fargo.

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Fergus Falls is also served by the Fergus Falls Regional Airport, which provides daily commercial flights to Minneapolis via SkyWest Airlines. The airport also serves general aviation traffic, including private and corporate aircraft. 

The city operates a public transit system, the Fergus Falls Transit, which offers bus service to residents and visitors. The service runs on several routes throughout the city, providing convenient and affordable transportation to shopping centers, medical facilities, and other destinations.

For those who prefer to walk or bike, Fergus Falls has several miles of trails and sidewalks throughout the city. The city's trail system includes the Central Lakes Trail, a 55-mile trail that runs from Fergus Falls to Osakis, providing a scenic and enjoyable way to explore the area. 

Overall, Fergus Falls has several transportation options available, including highways, an airport, public transit, and walking/biking trails, making it easy for residents and visitors to get around the city and explore the surrounding area. 

7.        Culture and Community

Fergus Falls, Minnesota is a vibrant and welcoming community that prides itself on its strong sense of culture and community. The city has a rich history, which is reflected in its architecture, museums, and cultural events.

CDIP 2012 Fergus Falls | Jessica, planting with 4th Grade Cr… | Flickr

The city is home to several museums and cultural institutions, including the Otter Tail County Historical Society, the Fergus Falls Center for the Arts, and the Kaddatz Galleries. These institutions provide a variety of opportunities for residents and visitors to explore the history, art, and culture of the area.

Fergus Falls also has a strong arts community, with several theaters, galleries, and music venues throughout the city. The Fergus Falls Center for the Arts hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including art exhibits, theater performances, and music concerts.

The city also has a strong sense of community, with several events and festivals throughout the year that bring residents together. These events include the Otter Tail County Fair, the Fergus Falls Spring Art and Craft Fair, and the Fergus Falls Festival of the Arts.

Overall, Fergus Falls is a welcoming and inclusive community with a strong sense of culture and community. The city's rich history, thriving arts scene, and variety of community events make it an attractive place to live, work, and visit.

8. Healthcare

Fergus Falls, Minnesota has a range of healthcare services available for residents and visitors, including several hospitals, clinics, and medical practices. The city is home to two major healthcare providers: Lake Region Healthcare and Sanford Health.

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Lake Region Healthcare is a nonprofit organization that provides a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, cardiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and rehabilitation services. The organization operates a 108-bed hospital in Fergus Falls, as well as several clinics throughout the area.

Sanford Health is a nonprofit health system that operates several hospitals and clinics throughout the Upper Midwest, including in Fergus Falls. The Sanford Health Fergus Falls Medical Center provides a range of services, including emergency care, surgery, orthopedics, oncology, and more. 

In addition to these major healthcare providers, Fergus Falls has several other medical practices and clinics that offer a variety of services, including primary care, dental care, and mental health services.

Overall, Fergus Falls has a range of healthcare options available, including two major healthcare providers, several medical practices, and clinics. The city's healthcare providers offer a variety of services, ensuring that residents and visitors have access to high-quality medical care.

9.        Distance from Friends and Family

The distance from friends and family while living in Fergus Falls, Minnesota will depend on where your loved ones are located. Fergus Falls is located in west-central Minnesota, about 170 miles northwest of Minneapolis and about 50 miles southeast of Fargo, North Dakota.

three woman holding each other and smiling while taking a photo

If your friends and family are located in Minneapolis or other parts of the Twin Cities metro area, Fergus Falls may be a bit of a drive, but it is still within reasonable driving distance. The drive from Fergus Falls to Minneapolis takes about 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.

If your loved ones are located in other parts of Minnesota, North Dakota, or neighboring states like South Dakota or Iowa, Fergus Falls may be closer or farther away, depending on their location. However, with several major highways nearby, including Interstate 94 and U.S. Highway 59, Fergus Falls is well-connected to other communities in the region, making it relatively easy to travel to and from the city.

Overall, while Fergus Falls may be a bit of a distance from some friends and family members, the city's central location and good transportation connections make it relatively easy to maintain relationships and stay connected to loved ones.

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