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.
The annual statutorily required public hearing on the local option sales tax attracted only 9 people when it was held at the Wadena County Courthouse Monday night, Aug. 11. All five commissioners attended the hearing to answer questions from the public and hear positive and negative feedback about the local option half-percent sales tax, in effect in Wadena County for the first time in 2014.
Wadena commissioners are considering hiring a professional auctioneer to conduct the Sept. 6 tax-forfeited land sale at the courthouse. More than 90 parcels of land are slated to be up for sale that day. The parcels include city lots, 40-acre plots, 80-acre plots and many more. Many of the parcels are good hunting and recreational land. Quite a few have lake or river frontage. Others have timber resources. Generally, a tax-forfeited land sale is conducted by a county's auditor/treasurer.
The July 11 rain event left portions of the county fairgrounds under water once again. During the past several years, Wadena commissioners have struggled to find methods of draining the water away from the fairgrounds. The county has installed rain gardens, brought in tons of dirt to raise the level of parts of the property, put in drain tile, regraded the roads in the fairgrounds and installed larger culverts.
After hearing about continued misuse of the county's recycling containers by vandals, the Wadena County Board decided on July 22 to fight back with surveillance. Solid Waste Director Mike Hanan and Transfer Center Supervisor Tammy Ehrmantraut appeared before the board to describe the continuing problem of garbage and inappropriate items being dumped into the county's recycling containers located at city and township sites.
At the July 24 work session, commissioners reacted with skepticism to County Coordinator Curt Kreklau's attempt to present a plan for replacing the county's 45-year-old heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment. Kreklau worked with the Minnesota Dept of Commerce to begin development of a Guaranteed Energy Savings Program (GESP) for the county. This program encourages cities and counties to work with qualified energy services contractors to identify ways to save utility costs by replacing outdated HVAC equipment through a special financing program.