The city of Wadena is down to its final days to use up the $312,662 in CAREs Act Funds for allowable expenses.

The expenditures must be used for actions taken to respond to the public health emergency of the coronavirus and are to be spent by Nov. 15. Any funds not used would be transferred to Wadena County, which has until Dec. 30 to put the funds to use. City Administrator Janette Bower was not keen on seeing any funds go back to the county as long as they could find allowable uses in the city.

The city previously approved expenses incurred in the amount of $36,659.61 for the month of October; $8,007.52, $110,548.60; and $131,749.14. That left $25,697.13 to use up. Bower said if funds remained after expenses were accounted for she would like to use her discretion to disperse funds possibly for such organizations as the Empty Stocking Fund, as they are one group who may have their fundraising efforts stymied by the virus.

The council unanimously gave her authority to make those decisions before the close of the period.

Public hearing

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Wadena City Council members held a public hearing approving a resolution, on a preliminary basis, for financing Tri-County Hospital’s new hospital complex. No one from the public spoke up during the public hearing.

The resolution for this project was approved a year ago but the pandemic has caused the city to have to approve this again - which they did unanimously. TCHC also visited Verndale and Bertha City Councils and will visit with Deer Creek for this approval, which is of no liability to the cities. This rather allows TCHC to move ahead with pursuing financing as the project affects the surrounding communities.

Fee schedule set

The council had their second reading of Wadena’s 2021 fee schedule. Some of the changes identified were seen as increases in the planning and zoning department including costs for building permits for unattached buildings and additions.

One touching the most residents is a 10-cent increase to water rates per 100 cubic feet (or about 750 gallons), which means you will pay $2.55 per 100 cubic feet of water compared to $2.45. Once you use over 750 cubic feet of water it's $2.70 for each additional 100 cubic feet of water. Service charges were unchanged. Electric rates were unchanged from 2019.

Increases were made in several areas of the Whitetail Run Golf Course services including the following:

  • Green fees: 14 senior punch card with half cart $490, up from $476.
  • Golf cart rental: 9 holes, $22.35, up from $20.49; 18 holes $33.53, up from $29.80; season cart, $512.22, up from $500.
  • Member golf cart storage and usage: electric, $550, up from $500; gas, $475, up from $450.
  • Rental of the clubhouse will now cost you $175 rather than $30 from Jan. 1- Oct. 31. Wedding reception rental is up from $375 to $500 from April to November.

This fee schedule becomes effective at the start of the new year.

In other actions, the council approved:

  • Renewing Casey’s General Store license to sell tobacco products.
  • Renewing massage therapy business licenses for Avery Kelderman, Nicole Dykhoff, Missy Ament, Bridgette Ohrmundt, Savanna Schoon, Jamie Erckenbrack and Courtney Kern.
  • Renewing a kennel license for Wadena County Humane Society,
  • Renewing brewers/tap house/Sunday license for Drastic Measures Brewing.
  • Renewing commercial refuse collection licenses for G&T Sanitation and Long Prairie Sanitation Inc.
  • Renewing Walmart Inc’s 3.2 beer license and license to sell tobacco products.
  • Renewing Little Round Still’s liquor license.
  • Renewing Pizza Hut’s 3.2 beer license.
  • Renewing Wadena Hide & Fur Co. Inc.’s salvage yard dealer and recycling license.
  • Hiring Alesandra Schmidt as a part-time desk clerk at the Maslowski Wellness & Research Center and Andrew Sundby as a firefighter with the Wadena Fire Department.
  • Ordering of a 2021 squad car from Nelson Ford with a trade in of the city’s 2017 model. The cost for the lease vehicle is $23,323.96 after the trade.