Wadena County Board members approved an expense of nearly a quarter million dollars during their Tuesday, Oct. 8, meeting on a new tandem axle truck along with all the equipment needed for the busy road work ahead.

The 2020 truck chassis and cab will be built to the specifications requested but might not be arriving for another nine months, said County Highway Engineer Ryan Odden. The board unanimously approved purchase of the tandem axle cab and truck chassis from RDO Truck Centers of Fargo, ND, for $125,344. This was the only mailed in bid received, but was cheaper than the state bid by about $8,000.

The board was also unanimous in their decision to approve purchase of a 2020 dump body, hoist, and snow and ice equipment from Bert’s Truck Equipment of Moorhead for $113,417. Both purchases were part of the equipment schedule purchased from 2020 budget. Odden said the truck will be used both during the winter snow plowing season for snow removal and applying salt/sand to the road system., and during the other months of the year for road maintenance activities such as pulling trailers and hauling gravel.

In other actions, board members approved a consent agenda including the following items:

  • Notification of replacement hire in Human Services. Hayley Maloney, social worker, starting Oct. 14 at a rate of $23.34 per hour.
  • Approved the payment of $25,000 to North Country Food Bank to be paid from the MCIT Dividend Fund. North Country Food Bank previously requested their member counties to contribute to a fund to help them with their plans of moving to a new larger facility.
  • Approved the application for bingo on Oct. 26, 2019 and Nov. 24, 2019 at St. Hubert Catholic Church in Bluegrass.

  • Approved contract renewal with Lake Country Associates for infant mental health services and consultation for Oct. 1, 2019 - Feb. 28, 2022, in an amount not to exceed $11,020.

  • Approved installation of additional gutter and water removal system on the Wadena County Public Health building from ABC Seamless for $2,988, funded from the levy building fund.

  • Approved the three year Planned Maintenance Agreement with Cummins Sales and Service for the generator at the Courthouse at a cost of $4,541.88 to be paid out of MCIT Dividend.

  • Approve credit card for HR Department and assistant county highway engineer.

  • Approved 2020 Wadena County employer contributions for health insurance with all in favor. The 2020 Wadena County monthly employer contribution will be $853 for employee only, $1,234 for employee + 1, $1,540 for family and $300 for the waived option only if employed prior to Jan. 1, 2013. Commissioner Jon Kangas commented that there are three different benefits for three classes of employees. That means some employees get far higher benefits than others. He felt a flat rate would be more fair.

  • Approved setting a public hearing for updating ordinances including large gathering ordinance, for Nov. 5 at 9:30 a.m. Discussion included a decision on what size gathering should be listed in the ordinance. Commissioners gave consensus that 1,500 should be the minimum size of a large assembly.

  • Commissioners discussed at length the swing of a door in the connector hallway. Consensus was to change the swing and include automatic openers. County attorney Kyra Ladd shared that aside from the oversight of the door, there are numerous energy efficiency issues and poor heating and cooling within this building structure that are costly to county taxpayers.