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Council firms up bonding request, fundraising

The Wadena City Council discussed wellness center fundraising at its Tuesday meeting.

Matt Killian of the Initiative Foundation presented the option of a grant to hire a consultant for fundraising.

The council approved drafting an application for the grant.

Killian said that with the end of 2011 drawing to a close, there was a window of opportunity as people look to do year-end giving for tax deductions, and there should be a fund established at the end of the year.

Mike Craig and Jeff Browne attended the meeting and discussed options with the council.

Craig said there was a big urgency with not much time left to give in 2011.

Craig also said everyone asks about the plans for a connection between the school and the community center.

Wolden asked how things would change if the wellness center project did not get bonding.

Jeff Browne said they should plant the seed that there could be a Plan B.

While a wellness center designed by Perkins + Will is being proposed to the Legislature for funding, the community center organization has been in communication to erect a building from Otsego as a backup plan.

Killian said that if the bonding plans fall through in 2012 while there have already been donations, it is important to look at donor intent - the funds are designated for a community center and should go there either way how the bonding pans out.

Mayor Wayne Wolden made a motion to appoint council member Don Niles to a committee about wellness center fundraising.

Niles hesitated and said he didn't want to be a lightning rod, referring to previous disagreements among the council.

Council member Toby Pierce said it was OK in this case, as the council was taking official action, and Niles was not acting by himself.

The council set a special meeting to discuss more on the wellness center on Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 6:30 p.m.

In department reports, the council talked about setting up a meeting with State Senator Gretchen Hoffman and passed a motion to change a resolution regarding the bonding request.