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City council learns of new clothing store coming to Wadena

Wadena Development Authority Director Dean Uselman created excitement at the Nov. 12 city council meeting with his announcement that a new women's clothing store is coming to Wadena later this month.

The new store will be called "1776 — A Clothing Revolution". It will feature American-made clothing at 102 Jefferson St. S. The new store is slated to open in late November.

Cheryl Helms, the new store's owner, moved here from Oregon in January 2013. Opening her own store will be a dream come true. Helms has wide experience in retailing, as a buyer and supply manager. She has lived in the Twin Cities, Seattle, North Dakota, and southern California during her career.

The new store will offer clothing in juniors, misses, and plus sizes. It will specialize in basic clothing and accessory items, including jeans, sweaters, and tops for layering. Styles will vary from casual to evening and date night.

Helms said in a telephone interview, "We want to offer our customers fashion and comfort."

Also at the Nov. 12 meeting, the city council awarded the bid for the Wellness Center elevator contract to the low bidder, Schindler Elevator Corp. of Eagan, Minnesota, for $62,895. The elevator had to be rebid since no bids were received following the issuance of the original request this summer.

Also at the Nov. 12 meeting, the council heard a proposal from representatives of Rotary International and Wadena Lions Club. The two groups want to install signs alongside the Wadena entrance signs at the five road entrances to the city. Council members asked questions about the size of the signs, whether they would be freestanding or affixed to the city signs, etc.

The council asked the two clubs to return to the council with specific proposals for the signs and whether other local civic groups would be included. The council indicated it would only agree to the proposal if there is no cost to the city.

The council approved the hiring of a new police officer, Aaron White, currently serving with the Leech Lake Tribal Police, contingent upon passing a background check and a physical examination. White has 9 years' experience in law enforcement.

In other business, the council:

• Authorized the city administrator to sign an engineering agreement with SRF Consulting Group, Inc., to implement the "Safe Routes to School" program designed by County Engineer Ryan Odden. The "Safe Routes to School" program will be funded 100 percent by a grant.

• Approved an increase in the city fix-up loan policy for commercial loans, from $8,000 to $15,000.

• Awarded a contract for site investigation of the Carter Oil property at 15 Colfax Ave. SW, to the low bidder, Millsop Associates, Inc., of Crosby, Minnesota, for $6,342.50. Millsop Associates, Inc., will collect soil samples, groundwater samples, and soil gas samples and check them for the presence of petroleum. Work can begin immediately.

• Approved the request of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a water well on city property to be used to monitor city water quality.

• Approved advertising the position of police sergeant.

• Learned that the new rail spur can go forward in the spring. The State Historic Preservation Office determined that there will be no negative environmental or historical impacts produced by the building of the rail spur.