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Commissioners call for public help to craft official logo

This logo, which appears on the Wadena county website, is only one of several used. Commissioners are asking residents for helping designing a new logo for use throughout county government.

County commissioners will ask the public for help in designing a new official logo that will appear on the Wadena County website, vehicles and letterhead.

The logo was just one of scores of topics the county board considered during a nearly three-hour meeting Feb. 4. Most agenda items concerned routine matters such as paying the bills.

Right now, Wadena County has no official mark, but rather 12 unique logos for different branches of county government.

The goal, Commissioner Jim Hofer said, is to establish a single emblem for all county purposes. In the coming weeks, the board will start soliciting designs from students at Central Lakes College-Staples, area high school art classes and from members of the general public.

The project has "moved off the slow burner to the front burner," Hofer said at the board's Friday meeting, when commissioners briefly discussed the new mark.

They considered offering a prize to the selected designer.

"Your wife's brownies?" Commissioner Ron Noon suggested to Hofer, who often brings her treats to board meetings. "Those are good."

County staff determined the board wouldn't be able to give a prize because it wasn't in the budget.

Hofer will present a timeline for the logo project at this week's board meeting.

Also at the Feb. 4 meeting, commissioners:

• Discussed how to proceed with the sale of 110 tax forfeited parcels of land throughout the county. The Department of Natural Resources is currently assessing timber value, which will help determine sale prices. "If we get this back on the tax roll in private hands, (that will be) very beneficial," Noon said. The 43 parcels with more than 150 feet of riparian vegetation require state legislation to sell. The board drafted a resolution calling on Wadena's state legislators to craft such a bill, in the hopes of moving forward with a sale this fall.

• Approved the 2014 budget allocation for the Wadena County Historical Society. It granted the full request, a one-time payment of $6,000.

• Signed off on changes to the county's collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local 320. The measure tweaked vacation and sick leave accrual for county union employees.

• Declined to enter into a distribution agreement with Texas-based Hometown Productions, which had asked if the county would help distribute a free local map it planned to produce. Since the maps would feature advertisements, commissioners agreed such an arrangement might set an unfavorable precedent.