After years of saying "no", Wadena commissioners said "yes" on Sept. 16 to a new look and functionality for the county's website. Both the current appearance of the website and its limited opportunities for users to get or give information have been roundly criticized in the last few years. At the Sept. 16 county board meeting, commissioners gave approval for CivicPlus to redesign and rebuild the county's website. CivicPlus is one of several companies that responded to the county's request for proposals earlier this year.
Earlier this year, the Wadena County Board transferred the administration of the Friendly Rider Transit program from Social Services to the Highway Department.
The Wadena County tax-forfeited land sale on Sept. 6 netted the county thousands of dollars it sorely needs to help pay for the upcoming courtroom renovation project. Seventy-one of the available 92 parcels were sold at auction at the courthouse. Hundreds of people jammed the upper level of the building to bid on the parcels, which included hunting land, lake and river frontage, city lots and other types of properties. Auditor/Treasurer Judy Taves and her team organized and ran the sale, as required by Minnesota law.
The Wadena County Board held a special meeting on Sept. 5 to work on the budget for 2015. Minnesota law requires that the board set a preliminary 2014 pay 2015 property tax levy amount in September. In order to do that, commissioners must know how much it will cost to operate the county in 2015. The final levy amount will be voted on at the end of December. Last month, each department submitted its budget requests for 2015. The total was $680,000 above the 2014 budget of $20,547,000. During the three-hour meeting on Sept.
The county's tax forfeited land sale on Sept. 6 will not be held outside in a tent after all, commissioners learned at a special meeting held Aug. 22. Instead, the sale will be held inside the courthouse in the main courtroom. Sheriff Mike Carr, recommended the change after consulting with Auditor/Treasurer Judy Taves, who is supervising the plans for the sale. The sheriff indicated that he could provide better security for the sale if it were held inside the building. Commissioners seemed reluctant to agree to the change, especially Commissioner Rodney Bounds.
Sheriff Mike Carr has asked Wadena County commissioners to help fund a special deputy position beginning in 2015 to be assigned to the West Central Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force. The request came during the Aug. 19 board meeting. The sheriff's proposal is for a deputy position at a cost of $54,556 to be shared by the five cities and the county. The county's share would be a little less than half: $24,552. Each of the five cities in Wadena County would pay an amount based on the city's population. Carr plans to appear before the five city councils to present his request.
Bruce Schwartzman, architect from BKV Architects, Minneapolis, appeared before the Wadena County Board along with colleague DuWayne Jones at a special meeting held Aug. 21.
It's budget time again. Wadena commissioners kicked off the 2015 budget development season on Aug.
County employees Brandon Peterson, Brice Norton and Kristal Roberts have been awarded basic forensic interview training scholarships to receive specialized training offered by Cornerhouse. Cornerhouse is a children's advocacy center in Minneapolis that coordinates multi-disciplinary teams to help minimize trauma to child victims of abuse, to provide support and assistance to the entire family and to hold offenders accountable. Menahga Police Department employee Jason Hofer will also receive a scholarship. The four will attend a weeklong forensic interview training beginning Aug.
Well, it was a good idea, but it's not gonna happen. Auditor/Treasurer Judy Taves and County Attorney Kyra Ladd told commissioners at their Aug. 12 meeting that the county can't hire a professional auctioneer to conduct the tax forfeited land sale on Sept. 6 for two reasons: (1) the wording of MN Stats 282.01, Subd 7, and (2) a 1956 legal opinion by then-Minnesota-Attorney-General Miles Lord. Lord served as Attorney General from 1955-1960. Lord went on to become the U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota from 1961-1966, and then a federal judge for the U.S.