The Wadena City Council approved a final 2019 tax levy, which shows a 1.38 percent decrease ($14,678.73) from the 2018 levy.

The total tax levy on the city is $1,051,548.79. That includes $328,015 going towards general fund expenses and $723,533.79 going towards bonds for improvements like the 2015 southeast Wadena water, sewer, storm water project.

The city's 2019 budget was also approved with total general fund expenses and revenues coming in at $3,836,642. Enterprise funds like sewer, golf course, electric, water, liquor store, and wellness center all had losses, adding up to a total loss of $1.2 million-when depreciation is figured in. Not counting the required depreciation on these revenue streams all operating revenue is expected to be higher than operating expenses. The Wellness Center revenue would have been short of a balanced budget if not for a $140,000 transfer from the general fund.

Not considering depreciation, revenue in the enterprise budgets exceeded expenses by $635,906 based on this 2019 budget.

In other board actions, the council approved:

• A resolution setting the 2019 polling place as the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center.

• Confirming the mayor's reappointment of Terry Olson and Dean Krogstad to the Park Advisory Board for three-year terms; and Kyle Davis to the Wadena Development Authority Board on a six-year term.

• Write-offs for bad checks at the Wadena Municipal Liquor Store ($177.20), Maslowski Wellness and Research Center ($843.75), uncollectable utility accounts ($7,940.08) and miscellaneous charges ($1,099.45).

• Renewing off-sale liquor licenses at the Elks Lodge, El Mariachi, The Uptown, Wadena VFW, Wadena Bowling Lanes, Wadena Liquor Store, Whiskey Creek Saloon, Inc., and Whitetail Run Golf Course.

• Renewing of 3.2 off-sale beer licenses at Holiday Station, Super One Foods and Walmart.

• Renewing cigarette licenses at Casey's General Store, Family Dollar Store, Holiday Station Store, Super One Foods, Wadena Liquor Store, Walmart and Whiskey Creek Saloon, Inc.

• Renewing massage therapy licenses for Melissa Ament, Kristen Betts, Comfort Corner Massage (Michelle McGrath), Avery Kelderman, Massage by Bridgette Ohrmundt, Rejuvenating Massage (Nikki Dykhoff) and Savanna Schoon.

• Renewing commercial refuse hauling licenses for AAA Roll Off Services, G&T Sanitation, Long Prairie Sanitation and Waste Management.

• Approved a statement of outcome for a performance evaluation of City Administrator Janette Bower. The statement said "No issues were noted and the session ended favorably."

• The second reading of an ordinance related to allowing retail gas stations and related convenience goods stores as a conditional use in Central Business District, allowing retail gas stations and related convenience stores as a permitted use in commercial zone and allowing gas/fuel/oil bulk station as a conditional use in light industrial zone. The purpose of the ordinance change was because the city of Wadena desires to more clearly identify the appropriate zoning locations for retail gas stations and related convenience goods stores and gasoline, fuel, and oil bulk stations, storage, and distribution plants within the City.

• Sale of a parcel of land to Mark and Camille Stone. The parcel was next to their commercial business. This parcel was mistakenly included and recorded in the county records along with the parcel owned by Warner Land Company, LLC which lies immediately to the south. This error is being corrected by the county.

• Hire of full-time sales associate/retail clerk position at the Wadena Liquor Store.

• New desk clerk position at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center.

• Hiring Samuel Erickson as the MWRC facility maintenance coordinator.

• Accepting a donation of $16,071.03 from the Tri-County Community Center. Also authorized purchase of equipment for the MWRC using those funds, including a Matrix Climbmill, Jacobs Ladder, Matrix MG Hack Squat, Hoist loaded seated calf raise and accessories to go with this equipment.

• A wage step increase for Louis Roggenkamp from Step 2 to Step 3.

The council also held public hearings for resolution No. 12-01-18 involving numerous assessments. No public commented during the hearing.

The council held a public hearing for resolution No. 12-02-18, adopting the final 2019 tax levy, with no one from the public commenting.

The council also had a public hearing for resolution No. 12-03-18, adopting the 2019 city budget, with no one from the public commenting.