While COVID-19 may have cancelled much of the summer gatherings in the area, organizers are still making plans for the second annual Salsa Festival Sept. 19 in Wadena.

Wadena Economic Development director Dean Uselman shared during the most recent Wadena City Council meeting that while the event will go on, it will have a different look.

The event will mostly be made up of vendors offering their wares including … salsa.

  • Other hot items included a brief announcement about the planning commission looking at an ordinance for allowing animals on certain acreage size lots within the city limits.

  • Uselman further spoke about economic development matters including the COVID-19 MIF loans available to businesses through the city. There are currently five loans approved with six pending approval. Funding was available for up to 24 businesses. Uselman took the lower than expected response as a sign that local businesses were either roughing out the storm without help or perhaps not in as much need as was believed. “I was concerned about losing some of our businesses,” Uselman said.

In other actions, the council approved:

  • Entering into a MnDOT agreement which provides for payment to the city for the state’s share of the costs for a continuous lighting system along Highway 10 within the city limits. The city is to install the new lighting along the Hwy 10 corridor and provide energy to the lights. The state is participating in the costs of the construction, an amount estimated at $78,750.

  • Hiring Reed Barthel as the Utilities Line Foreman. Barthel has been an employee of the city for more than 26 years. He is currently in the position of lead lineman and has performed the duties of line foreman on several occasions.

  • Replacing the Burlington Northern Park band stand floor and removing the band stand stairway. In the 2020 budget $10,000 was allocated to replace the rotting floor in the band stand. The Park Board has been discussing options to keep this building usable, meeting ADA requirements, and preserving it for aesthetic purposes. The board feels that the cost of meeting the ADA requirements would not be justified by the use it would receive. They would prefer to keep it maintained for aesthetic purposes only. The floor labor is to be done by street department staff. While the band stand would be closed off to the public at this time, Public Works Director Dan Kovar said the city would have the option of placing a portable stairway or at some point a wheelchair accessible ramp so the structure could still be used in special circumstances, if funding allowed it.

  • Awarding the 2020 mill and overlay project to Ferguson Asphalt Paving Inc. as they were the low bidder. The road work is to be completed on Third Street SW from Howard to Irving Ave., at a cost of $29,318.35; Emerson Ave. SW from Hwy 71 to Fourth Street at a cost of $34,250.60; and Howard Ave. SW from Hwy 71 to Third Street at a cost of $25,423.05. The total mill and overlay project is to cost about $89,000.

  • Transient merchant license application submitted by TNT Fireworks for fireworks sales at Walmart. The fireworks would be sold from June 19-July 6 with hours from about 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. There is no smoking or discharge of fireworks allowed near the tent.
  • A liquor license for Little Round Still.
  • A fix up loan for the Iron Corral, the former Whiskey Corner Saloon. The loan was for exterior improvements including the roof, patio area, fencing and siding projects.