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Council discusses school overflow parking options

The north side of Community Center Drive will be a no-parking zone on school days from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in order to accommodate new parking and traffic patterns from the new WDC high school building.

The Wadena City Council talked about high school parking issues during its Aug. 15 regular meeting.

Police Chief Bruce Uselman said he had a discussion with Tim Wohlert, transportation supervisor for WDC Schools, and discussed the flow of traffic for the upcoming school year.

"We discussed previously buses will now load and unload on the north side of the school, which is Community Center Drive," Uselman said.

Mayor Wayne Wolden said he was concerned there was not enough parking by the high school. The new school building already has the maximum amount of parking space for LEED Silver certification, an environmental and energy efficiency standard. Additionally, some of the slots are for high-efficiency vehicles only.

Wolden said there was a safety issue that if the school grounds parking filled up, kids might park in the bus area, but he did not immediately want to restrict that area.

For safety reasons, Niles brought up an amendment to restrict the north side of Community Center Drive from parking.

"If the kids want to park, they can park further on down Community Center Drive. They can park at the Hockey Association parking lot," Niles said.

Council members Toby Pierce, Kay Browne and Jeanette Baymler supported Niles' amendment, and Wolden voted against.

As a side note, Wolden also said the proposed wellness center project could also have similar overflow parking issues, where people might have to park on the street if there isn't enough room on the wellness center lot.