Council changes course on bad check policy
The Wadena City Council passed a motion to rescind a proposed fee to prosecute bad checks and instead go with a diversion program.
The council also passed a motion to adopt a list of bad check write-offs in connection with the municipal liquor store and the golf course.
Charging a fee to deal with bad checks may be an illegal prosecution cost, city attorney Jeff Pederson said at the Dec. 14 meeting.
"There is a private company that authors what is a statutorily authorized diversion program," Pederson said. "There are a number of cities in the area that use it."
Police Chief Bruce Uselman said that a diversion program works well with first-time offenders, and the city deals with many repeat offenders.
"As far as the merchants are concerned, it's a theft," Pederson said.
Council member Kay Browne said there are about 100 bad checks a year, and Uselman said the grocery store gets about 20 of them. Council member Don Niles said the municipal liquor store also gets about 20 bad checks.