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Hoffman noncommittal on support for Wadena wellness center

District 10 State Senator Gretchen Hoffman, R-Vergas, who introduced the proposed Wadena wellness center for bonding to the Minnesota Senate, said her views on bonding are the same as when she visited the Wadena City Council in early January.

During that Jan. 4 meeting, Hoffman said she was open to the wellness center being in a bonding bill if there would be a bonding bill, but also expressed skepticism that she or the Republican senate as a whole would support a bonding bill at all.

"There is no bonding bill right now," Hoffman told the Pioneer Journal Wednesday. "I don't know what's in it. I don't know how big it is. So yeah, until I see a bill, I can't tell you how I'm going to vote on something that doesn't exist."

Hoffman said she got to talk with Mayor Wayne Wolden, who was visiting the capitol on Wednesday.

"I'm in the same place I was when I was at the city council meeting. We had the same conversation we had, and we're in the same spot," she said. "I had a nice conversation with him about the project."

Hoffman said she had no regrets about bringing the wellness center to the Senate.

During the Jan. 4 meeting, she had brought up the idea of using Wadena as a pilot project to reduce some environmental mandates in order to save costs.

Hoffman said that is not in the bonding bill discussions now, since the ice arena has been built separately and the wellness center no longer has that added expense. She said the general idea of reducing some mandates would be "a bigger conversation" for down the road.