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Verndale county garage decision delayed again

Wadena County commissioners tabled a discussion about the Verndale garage until Sept. 1 to allow all of the commissioners and the Verndale mayor to attend and give the highway engineer more time to prepare.

Highway Engineer Joel Ulring said a busy schedule the past week and a half did not allow him time to prepare for the discussion. But he said he was happy to hear comments from those members of the public who attended the scheduled 11 a.m. Friday discussion.

Commissioner Lane Waldahl said Mayor Ardith Carr wanted to be at the meeting but was unable to attend. The county should give Carr another opportunity to come since she is the mayor of Verndale, he said.

Commissioner Bill Stearns said it was his understanding that Staples officials weren't going to hold the county to the terms of the contract which required that either party give notice of a decision to terminate the agreement by May 1, 2009.

"They aren't going to hold our feet to the fire so there's no reason we can't wait again," he said.

Commissioner Ralph Miller said he agreed with Waldahl in respect to Carr, but he was also concerned about the city of Staples' responsibility to its citizens in regard to renting the building. When he requested this be on the agenda earlier in the month he felt it should be addressed, resolved and be done with, he said.

"I guess I would like to get it resolved, but the overpowering feeling would be to have Ardith here," Miller said.

The county board meeting Sept. 1 was moved from its normal 9 a.m. start time to 6 p.m. to accommodate Carr's schedule as a teacher for the Verndale School. The garage discussion was scheduled for 7 p.m. on the agenda.

The board decided on a September meeting because the full board will not be in attendance at the county's two August meetings.

Commissioners first addressed the controversy over relocating equipment formerly housed in the Verndale garage to a rented facility in Staples in February. The issue came up several times over subsequent months, but the board has not felt comfortable making a decision.