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Wadena County Coordinator position being created

The Wadena County Board of Commissioners began zeroing in on a plan to create a coordinator position at Tuesday's meeting in the Human Services Building.

Bounced from their familiar confines at the Wadena County Courthouse, the board looked at the first draft of a job description for what is expected to be an overall supervisory position.

Commissioner Jim Hofer, who introduced the draft, reminded his fellow board members prior to their discussion that County Attorney Kyra Ladd said at an earlier meeting "you can put anything you want on the coordinator position."

The job of the county coordinator will be similar to the first officer of a ship—the coordinator would report to the board, but all department heads and employees would be answerable to them.

Hofer's draft made it clear the nature and purpose of the position will be to assist the board in providing clear direction and measurable objectives for each county department.

Minimum requirements of the position will include a four-year bachelor's degree, at least seven years of work experience in managing a significant number of people and most important—being a current department head in Wadena County.

"For resource purposes, we feel this is essential," Hofer said.

Commissioner Bill Stearns pointed out that minimum qualifications should also include knowledge of the budgeting and wage negotiations process.

The board will look at an updated draft at a future meeting. Hofer pointed out the board has already put six months of consideration and work into creating the position. Posting of the job could take place in the next two months.

In other news

During a discussion involving the Ag Society, Stearns told the board that it was his understanding the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) will not provide any funds in evacuating water from the county fairgrounds. MnDOT is scheduled to begin a project on Highway 10, which runs parallel to the fairgrounds, this summer. Stearns suggested the county may have to fund a storm sewer of their own to handle standing water on the fairgrounds.

Board members decided on upcoming assignments for the 76 boards and committees they served on in 2017.

Hofer brought a request from an apartment complex developer in Staples for a tax abatement by the county estimated at this time at $65,000. Hofer said a seven-acre piece of land near Lakewood Health has been purchased and a $3.5 million complex is being planned.

• The board passed a new resolution to make the county auditor-treasurer position an appointive one. The resolution needs approval by the Minnesota State Legislature to change it from its present status as an elected position to an appointed one.

• Approved the 2018 Health Fund Account Advance which provides county employees with a total of $55,000 for the out-of-pocket health expenses during the year. The board also approved a reimbursement of 2017 HRA funds to the tune of $68,750.