The Wadena City Council voted to freeze all part-time wages for 2010 with minor exceptions for wording changes and the fire department's relief association. The council declined requested wage increases for part-time public works assistant Mike Peters from $9.86 an hour to $10.15 an hour. Public Works Director Ron Bucholz requested the raise saying Peters does the work of a full-time position and has been a good employee for the city.
Whether or not the temporary four-way stop at Colfax Avenue and First Street Southeast can become permanent is under review after the Wadena City Council requested a study by county and state officials. Mayor Wayne Wolden said he had three reasons for supporting the study of the street, which is a county road. Senior citizen pedestrians in the area, fire truck and police car traffic and discouraging semi-truck traffic are all issues he wants the study to consider, he said. Police Chief Bruce Uselman approached the council with the idea.
5 years ago Excerpts from the Dec. 9, 2004 Pioneer Journal Readers react to Bluffton halfway house issue Ellen Wallgren, a lifetime resident of Bluffton, wrote that she must respond to a letter written by T.R. Barry, director of Rewind Inc., which expressed his displeasure with Bluffton residents' opposition to a proposed halfway house. She wrote that she did not believe Bluffton was the best choice for a halfway house for addicted ex-convicts. "If Mr. Barry feels we in Bluffton are hypocritical Christians, so be it," she added.
Semi-upscale food at a casual dining price is what Derek and Shari Olson of Harvest Thyme Bistro expect diners to find at their new restaurant located in the Mall of Wadena (formerly the Village Emporium). The bistro is a unique dining experience for locals, the Olsons said, and features fresh local, organic ingredients. Derek, the chef, doesn't use any processed or packaged food or meats. "Everything is whole food or made from scratch right here in our kitchen," Shari said.
The difficult tasks of being a tax payer and county official during rough economic times were addressed at a public hearing Tuesday night when the community had an opportunity to discuss 2010 budget and levy information with commissioners and department heads. The county has proposed an 11 percent reduction in the 2010 budget from 2009. It is proposing a 3.2 percent increase in property taxes collected in 2010. Commissioner Ralph Miller said he voted for the proposed 3.2 percent increase as an attempt to reestablish some sort of a county reserve.
Volunteers installed more than 100 feet of additional decking to the "bog walk" at Old Wadena County Park Tuesday. Old Wadena Society members, retired 3-M employees, local FFA members and other volunteers are constructing the walk through a wetland in the park. "This will be an educational experience for those who come to Old Wadena Park," said Tom Kajer, a member of Old Wadena Society. "We'll have learning stations when all of this is finished." The learning stations will provide information about some of the native grasses and plants and the biology of the fragile wetland ecosystem.
If I was a man of consequence in Wadena in 1949 I would be known as S.M. Hacking. If I was a married woman in 1969 I wouldn't have a first name. These are a just a couple of cultural oddities I've observed since I took over writing the "Living History" column in May. Every week I get to peruse through issues of the PJ from 1949, 1969, 1984, 1999 and 2004. I've learned a little bit about Wadena along the way -- and I've had a few laughs, too. Issues from five or 10 years ago are interesting to read as reminders of more recent events.
5 years ago Excerpts from the Dec. 2, 2004 Pioneer Journal Officials want new justice center Building a new justice center near the old airport topped a list of options at a meeting to discuss solutions to courthouse and law enforcement space shortages.
The Wadena City Council agreed the city should apply for a $50,000 Healthy Communities Partnership grant from the Initiative Foundation. Before deciding, City Administrator Brad Swenson wanted the council to know the city would be required to provide a match for part of it. It's a five-year grant, he said. The city would receive $10,000 per year with a 50 percent match required the last four years. That means the city would need to provide a $5,000 per year match, either with cash or in-kind, he said.