Wadena County Commissioners agreed to hold off on a decision to approve a waste management designation ordinance letter. The letter is a step in a process to ensure the county satisfies its waste supply agreement with Prairie Lakes Municipal Solid Waste Authority.

Commissioner Jon Kangas wanted to get further answers to questions concerning allowing waste haulers in a portion of the county to be able to haul waste to Hubbard County rather than Perham because it was closer. He had heard from haulers that felt it made more sense to make less of a drive.

The board discussed the reasoning behind the decision to haul to Perham. Solid waste director Chris McConn explained the reasoning is mainly because the county has 10% ownership in the Perham incinerator and pays about $600,000 a year towards the facility as partners in the facility. The county would have to continue paying that amount whether they used the facility or not under the partnership. By using the facility, there is a revenue source that comes from the steam generated. Commissioners added that haulers in a portion of the county are paid $9.50 a ton to haul the waste directly to Perham rather than to the Wadena County Transfer Station first.

Kangas and McConn planned to meet to discuss the matter further in the next week. The ordinance letter is 125 pages long and was drafted with help from an attorney with Stoel Rives from Minneapolis.

Once approved by the county, the MPCA has to approve of the letter and then it goes on to a public hearing. The board will likely discuss the matter again at the third meeting of the month, Jan. 21.

In other actions, the board approved:

Hires and promotions for:

  • Human Services – replacement hire (on pay scale 2019 B, will be adjusted after 1/1/2020 to reflect COLA) Gina Poppinga, eligibility worker, $18.66 per hour, start date 12/9/2019, Grade: 52, Step: 1; yearly gross salary: $38,812.80, total salary and employer contributions (taxes and benefits): $44,728.00.

  • Human Services – replacement hire Amelia Hutson, social worker, $23.06 per hour, start date 1/2/2020, Grade: 54, Step: 2; yearly gross salary: $47,964.80, total salary and employer contributions (taxes and benefits): $55,243.00.

  • Human Services – promotion Lucille Prather, eligibility worker, $19.08 per hour, start date 1/13/2020, Grade: 52, Step: 1; yearly gross salary: $40,779.90, total salary and employer contributions (taxes and benefits): $46,988.00.

  • Approved the 2020 attorney salary schedule with the calculation of the assistant county attorney II at 75% and assistant county attorney I at 65% Those salaries add up to $116,104 for the county attorney; $96,753 for the assistant county attorney II; and $83,853 for the assistant county attorney I. These are based off the trial court judge salary, who currently has a salary of $161,108.

  • Renewing liquor licenses for R & J Horse Sales and Knob Hill Sportsmans Club for 2020.

  • Commissioners Monson and Hofer to stay involved in the Todd-Wadena Community Corrections executive board. All were in favor of their request.

  • Accepting the DNR Snowmobile Safety Enforcement Grant in the amount of $8,668.00 with a contract effective date of July 1, 2020. $4,334.00 to be spent between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021 & $4,334.00 to be spent between July 1, 2021 and June 30,2022. Approval to amend the 2020 budget for the snowmobile grant from $3,909.00 to the actual amount of the grant which is $4,334.00 was granted. These funds are used to cover expenses of labor and equipment for the county to enforce snowmobile laws and provide youth training classes.

  • Commissioner Chuck Horsager was named board chair along with Jim Hofer as vice chair for 2020.