Wadena City Council members voted unanimously in support of funding a recoating of the lap pool within the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center at a cost of $54,659 during their Tuesday, Dec. 8 council meeting.

The work involves adding new plaster to the surface of the large lap pool, which has a surface area of about 4,200 square feet. MWRC manager Eric Robb said the work was needed to repair a damaged surface. He described parts of the pool at “blotchy” with plaster worn or chipped away across large areas of the pool in some cases up to a quarter inch deep.

The work is to be completed by Quality Pools LLC., of Lakeville, and could be completed this January if the Wellness Center is to remain closed. The pool must be drained and cannot be used during the duration of the repair. Councilman Mark Lunde suggested if the wellness center is open in January, that there may be a better time to do the repairs if possible. Robb said he would look into the scheduling options. Completing the work during the shutdown would be ideal, the council agreed.

A second bid for the work came in at $64,145.75 from FRED of Chicago, Ill. An option to tile the pool would have come at a cost over $300,000, according to Robb. The pool and the wellness center are just six years old, opening in December of 2014 at a cost of $12.3 million. The Mas, as it is more commonly known, is currently closed temporarily with the next possible opening Dec. 18 or once the current restrictions on such facilities in place by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is lifted.

Wellness program

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Related to the MWRC, Wadena City full-time employees have an updated wellness program for 2021, in which the city of Wadena will pay for a portion of their memberships to the MWRC. Additions to this year’s program are that the city is contributing $3,000 towards the program, an increase from last year. Employee memberships will also be paid by the employee’s department rather than the wellness program. The wellness program is in place to increase healthy lifestyles among employees, hopefully minimizing health premium costs in the future. The program is also meant to increase membership to the MWRC.

In other actions, the council approved:

  • Accepting Sam Waln’s notice of retirement as street foreman. Staff said Waln has served in the position for 15 years. His retirement is effective Dec. 18, 2020. The board action also opens the position to be filled.
  • The 2020 write-offs totaling $3,249.11. The accounts from the campground, liquor store, utility accounts and wellness center were deemed not collectible.
  • Adopting the 2021 City of Wadena part-time wage scale. The scale has been increased 1.5%, the same amount as full-time employees. With the exception of the electric 1,000 hour lineman, which is based off of 75% of lineman start step. The city has around 35-40 part-time staff over the year and a total of around 150 staff throughout the year.
  • Authorizing the execution of a lease purchase agreement and related documents and certificates for a new squad vehicle for the police department.
  • Liquor license renewals for El Mariachis, Oma’s Bread, Wadena Elks Lodge, Elmer Goche VFW Post 3922, Miner’s Inc., Wadena Municipal Liquor, Whitetail Run Golf Course, The Uptown, Iron Corral, Holiday Station Store and Wadena Lanes.
  • Tobacco licenses for Holiday Station Store, Wadena Municipal Liquor Store, John’s Car Care Center.
  • Massage therapy business license for Dana Eberhardt, Kylee Wright, Michelle Krotzer, Samantha Olson.
  • Tattoo license for Urban Cuts, aka Bryniarski Tattoo.
  • Hiring Garrett Erickson as a part-time police officer.