The Veteran's Park Museum, a building within the Veterans' Park in Wadena is moving along with memorabilia from the different armed forces being added to the collection.
The museum is not yet open to the public, but the Veteran's Park group hopes to add cameras to the site soon in order to open it to the public later this summer.
Veteran's Service Officer David Anderson and Veteran's Park board member Dave Ludovissie attended a recent Wadena city council meeting to bring forth options and costs for the cameras as well as a mention of the importance of the cameras to protect the items on display as some are quite valuable.
Anderson had two quotes to share, both from Contact Radio Communications in Eagle Bend. Costs ranged from $960 to nearly $1,800. The council agreed to look into other quotes to determine what would work best for the site and what options the city could afford as the equipment would belong to the city.
Anderson said the museum is designed to be a walk through museum open in months outside of winter.
When asked if there was a need for items to be a part of the museum, the men said they would welcome items to be added to the collection. One need in particular was manikins to put the various clothing on from the different armed forces.
In other actions, the board:
• Authorized the application and permit for a one-day to four-day temporary on-sale liquor license for the sustainable farming association for the Salsa Festival coming to Wadena Sept. 14.
• Approved the statement of outcome regarding the closed session held on May 7, 2019, concerning City Administrator Janette Bower's performance. Bower was moved from Step 1 ($40.27) to Step 2 ($42.16) on the wage scale.
• Approve the statement of outcome regarding the closed session held on June 4, 2019, concerning Wadena Economic Development Director Dean Uselman's performance. The approved motion directed the city administrator to prepare and begin a performance improvement plan with Uselman.
• Approved a resolution agreeing to the terms and conditions of MnDOT agreement No. 1034387 Local Improvement Grant Agreement.
• Approved resolution No. 2019-26: Agreeing to the terms and conditions of MnDOT Agreement No. 1033197 Local Improvement Program Grant Agreement. These agreements were needed in order to start pulling from the $5 million in bonding funds granted to the city for utility improvements.
• Authorized angled parking on the southside of Aldrich Avenue from Jefferson Street to First Street SE. This action was dependent on checking with the county that this does not interfere with truck traffic. There was discussion that this street was designated as a truck route. The angled parking matches that which was done on the north side of Drastic Measures Brewing. The idea to place the angled parking there was brought forward by Mayor George Deiss who said other residents had brought up the idea to add more parking in this area. The angled parking about doubles current parallel parking.
• Authorized entering into a lease agreement between the city of Wadena and the Wadena Chamber of Commerce for use of the former Burlington Northern Railway Depot. If the Chamber of Commerce board approves of the agreement, the staff would occupy a portion of the Depot building to conduct their business. They would pay no rent but would be responsible for the utility costs of the building. They would pay for that with revenue from renting of the Depot space. The agreement assumes that there will not be a property tax on the building. If the county does not agree that the space shouldn't be taxed, the tax would be about $1,100 a year.
• Authorized purchasing a new police squad car from Mills Ford, Baxter. Wadena Chief of Police Naomi Plautz noted that $40,000 was reserved in the budget for this purchase. Trading in the old squad will bring in $4,000 towards this purchase. The new squad cost was $29,109.
• Authorized returning Dayton Avenue SW to two-way traffic from Third Street SW to Fourth Street SW. This is the remaining portion of Dayton Ave., after the other portion is turned into a playground and bus parking area at the elementary school.
• Authorized installing four-way stop signs at 11th Street & Kingsley Avenue. It was mentioned there was a safety factor leading to this decision.
What else is going on?
• Eric Robb facility manager at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center shared that there's been an increase in individuals coming to the wellness center after hours that are not members. In other words, they come in with someone else and are not paying to use the facility. This hurts those that are paying to use the facility, he said.
"Just be honest," Robb said of the situation.
• Electric and water superintendent Dave Evans shared that there's a new program from Missouri River Energy that could allow electric users to pay a fee to go 100% renewable energy. He planned to bring the topic to another board meeting and he mentioned that for an additional $67 a year, all Wadena Parks could be run by renewable energy, something he highly encouraged.
• Mayor George Deiss mentioned talk about buying tax forfeiture lots in Folkestad East addition in an effort to get the lots sold and back on tax rolls. He was looking for interest from the board and a majority agreed to bring the topic up at a future meeting.
• City Administrator Janette Bower said she's been in talks with various business owners to plan for the reconstruction of Hwy 10 coming next year, which will involve the intersections leading into Wadena. In an effort to look at the construction in a positive light, the group is trying to find ways to hold events getting more people downtown for shopping. Bower noted a public meeting later in the year to bolster more support and let more people know about the detours and how to get to the businesses that are open during construction.