Wadena commissioners received a document prepared by County Assessor Lee Brekke detailing the potential costs to the county of the city of Wadena's tornado lot property tax abatement plan at their June 3 meeting. The city proposes to offer 10-year property tax abatement incentives to owners of 29 city lots where the June 2010 tornado demolished homes. The tax abatement would go to owners who build homes worth at least $75,000 between now and the end of 2016. The owners would receive 10-year property tax abatements on the value of the homes.
Just three of the 10 offices up for election in November will have contests between two candidates. In the other seven offices, a single candidate is running unopposed. The filing deadline for county offices was June 3. County commissioner candidates will be running in three races: Districts 1, 3, and 5. In District 1, incumbent Ron Noon will face challenger Sheldon Monson, chairman of the Wadena County Republican Party. In District 3, incumbent Bill Stearns will face challenger Andrew Schrock.
Commissioners handled a variety of important county business matters at their meeting May 13. Sebeka city attorney Jeff Pederson appeared before commissioners to present an escrow agreement to the board, regarding the former Sebeka American Legion property now owned by the county through tax forfeiture. The board was asked to agree to have the county deposit $120,000 into the Pederson & Pederson Trust Account to be disbursed by the firm as an escrow agent.
Wadena commissioners learned at their May 6 board meeting of a request from the Ag Society, which operates the Wadena county fair, for funds and technical assistance to help pay for special events at this year's fair in June. County engineer Ryan Odden, back from a recent leave, told commissioners that he had received a request from the Ag Society following its April 23 meeting to help haul materials for the track to be used for the National Tractor Pullers Association events on June 27 and 28, to haul materials for a new parking lot so that the heavy vehicles can be safely parked and to spre
Wadena commissioners spent more than five hours discussing and debating which of the finalists for two top jobs should be offered the positions, and what salaries should be chosen to accompany the offers at a special meeting held May 2. First, the county board held a closed session to discuss the results of the background checks conducted after the interviews for Human Services Director were held on April 9, and other confidential information regarding the candidates. Then the meeting was reopened to the public, and the Human Services Director position was brought before the board.
Wadena commissioners heard a proposal from the city of Wadena at the April 15 board meeting that has been in the works for several months. The city wants to provide opportunities for people to build residential housing on the 29 lots in the southwest section of the city, left vacant by the June 2010 tornado. The lots have not become tax-delinquent, but they are standing empty, and do not make an attractive neighborhood.
$806,204 — that was the estimate for the remodeling of the court facilities portion of the Wadena County courthouse, submitted last Thursday by BVK Architects, Minneapolis, to the Wadena County board at a special meeting in the courthouse auditorium. Attending the meeting were four of the five commissioners (Dave Hillukka was absent), three judges, two architects, a construction manager, four court administration staff, the county attorney, the county sheriff, the emergency management services director, the auditor/treasurer, the facilities supervisor and two representatives of the medi
On April 9 at a special board meeting, the Wadena Board of Commissioners interviewed two finalists selected from a pool of nine candidates for the position of County Social Services Director. Neither candidate had previous experience as a Social Service Director in another county, but both had extensive experience in social work and in county and/or state government.
At the April 8 Wadena County Board meeting, Interim Social Services Director Steve Reger told commissioners that he has received a Maintenance of Status Quo Order from the Minnesota Bureau of Mediation Services (BMS) requiring Wadena County "to preserve existing conditions and promote a free and fair environment for the resolution of [the] question of representation". Reger said that AFSCME (the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees) Council 65, which covers the entire state of Minnesota except state employees, Metro Minneapolis/St Paul and Metro Duluth and St Louis Co
The Wadena County Board of Commissioners spent five hours on April 14 interviewing five candidates for the new position of county coordinator. Human Resources Consultant Cheryl Goettig coordinated the interviews, greeted the candidates, supervised their completion of required paperwork, and read the set of 17 questions to each candidate. The new position of county coordinator has a large number of responsibilities.