County will 'hurry up and wait' on Wensman remodel
by Sara Hacking,
The Wadena County Board Chairman reminded county officials that the possible remodel of the Wensman Building is a "hurry up and wait" project after the board reviewed a master plan by architects and approved the installation of water lines to the building.
"We can't do anything for two years other than discuss it," said Chairman Bill Stearns.
The "hurry up" part of the project involves the installation of a water line and 4-inch conduits during the county construction work on Aldrich Avenue and 2nd Street scheduled to begin in the next couple of weeks. The laying of the lines will allow for a possible remodel in the future.
The "wait" part means the county will need to take some time to "rat hole" money away before it can consider any remodeling, Stearns said.
Architect Tony Stoll of Baker, Hogan and Houx Architecture and Planning of Perham presented the county with two remodeling options. One would be a phased remodel with non-law enforcement-related county departments moved in two increments over a period of several years. The other option involved moving all the departments at once. County department heads preferred the option to move all the departments at one time, he said. This plan would likely cost less than a two-part remodel.
In preparation for any remodeling of the Wensman Building the board approved the installation of a water line estimated to cost $13,000 and a 4-inch PVC conduit estimated at $3,300. Maintenance worker Cody Ylgesias presented a $20,000 estimate to install the water line at the last county board meeting, a cost that surprised commissioners. That estimate was for installation of the lines halfway under the building, however, which was not what the board voted on. The board said it was adequate to have the water line installed up to the building.
The board also approved removing sidewalk work from the spring road construction contract which will decrease the cost of the bid for the project.