The Wadena City Council approved a request for sidewalk encroachment on Aldrich Ave. for Drastic Measures Brewing. The encroachment allows for an outdoor seating area and the improved access to the north entry door makes it ADA and fire code compliant.

Planning and zoning director Dean Uselman said the encroachment still allows plenty of space for walking on the sidewalk, 6-7 feet. Uselman said the current door swings in, which is a fire code violation. The change adds a ramp and change of door swing. Tables outside would sit from the door access east to the windows towards the front of the building. They could be folded up when not in use.

Councilman Jessie Gibbs said as someone who has wheeled people into buildings without handicap accessibility, he approved of the addition. The council unanimously approved the encroachment. Councilman Bruce Uselman shared concerns about someone being struck by vehicles should they jump the curb in that area. He also had concerns of alcohol being passed to juveniles passing by. City Administrator Janette Bower said a violation of that nature could cause a loss of a liquor license.

In other action, council members:

  • Heard from Utilities Superintendent Dave Evans who recommended contracting with West Central Telephone Association for IT services for three years at a cost of $2,635.96. They unanimously approved the recommendation. The city had to find new IT help after Sourcewell stopped providing the service in January. The city received quotes from Corporate Technologies and WCTA. WCTA was about $190 higher, but that contract included unlimited desktop and server support, a significant benefit. Corporate Technologies did not bid the same unlimited option.
  • Authorized entering into the amended Tri-County Health Care Development Agreement. The amendments recognize the new project timeframe and other items needed by TCHC to allow them to close on their loan documents. The document was reviewed by the city attorney, city administrator and TCHC’s attorney. All are in agreement regarding the amendments.

  • Authorized purchasing two ABS submersible pumps and a control panel with installation from Minnesota Pump Works for the Carter Lift Station at a cost of $32,733.45. Another bid came in at $40,755.31.

  • Authorized purchasing a bio-solids mixing/loading pump for $26,629 from Mid-Central Equipment of Henning. The pump is critical to the operation, according to Public Works director Dan Kovar, who explained the need for the unplanned purchase.

  • Accepted a $9,000 grant from FAA for funds related to the CAREs Act.

  • Authorized hiring Jake Rude as a journeyman lineman at Step 4 ($32.42/hr). He was expected to start May 3. Seven applied for the position.

  • Authorized Wadena Fire Department to apply for the MN DNR Firefighters Assistance Grant for the purchase of water movement items and communications. The city’s portion of the grant would be $2,500 and $2,500 would be awarded from the grant.

  • Awarded wind cone replacement and relocation project to Neo Electrical Solutions. The $122,448 project is 100% funded by the FAA, thanks to the recent American Rescue Plan. The city received three bids for the project. Neo Electrical was the low bidder at $57,247.55. The other costs are related to design, engineering and administration.