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2030 may be the year to start updating southwest Wadena infrastructure

With 75% of bonds expected to be paid in 10 years, it leaves room for new projects to come on board.

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The largest residential section of Wadena, southwest Wadena would be next on the list of utility updates.
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WADENA — The Wadena City Council heard from George Eilertson, managing director of public finance for Northland Securities that a large amount of the city’s indebtedness may be paid off over the next eight years. About 75% of the city’s debt will be paid in 10 years.

Paying debts presents an opportunity to take on new debts for significant projects like utility improvements for southwest Wadena, a project that has already been kicked down the road for years. It’s the last part of town to undergo reconstruction. It’s also the biggest slice of the pie and one that could be done in phases depending on available funds.

“I’m not here mayor to advocate that you borrow more money,” Eilertson said. But there will be room to maintain the level of funding.

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Eilertson spoke of the existing bonds, which include:

  • Water Revenue Bond of 2002: This $2,617,891 bond will be paid in August 2022.
  • Sewer Revenue Bonds of 2011 (wastewater project): This $3,811,008 bond will be paid off in August 2031.
  • Sewer Improvement Bonds of 2015 (SE project): This $3,889,101 bond will be paid off in August 2030.
  • Water Improvement Bonds of 2015 (SE project): This $3,512,737 bond will be paid off in Aug. 2030.
  • Storm water Improvement Bonds of 2015 (SE project): This $4,158,257 bond will be paid off in Aug. 2030.
  • Electric Revenue Bonds of 2018: This $995,000 bond will be paid off in Feb. 2026.
  • Equipment Certificates of 2019: Used to buy a fire truck and public works equipment, this is payable at any time though is scheduled out to 2029.
  • Capital Improvement Plan Bonds of 2021: This $2,240,000 fund is for the library project and could be paid off using sales tax if approved during the 2022 election. Without that, the bond is through 2042.

By 2030, the city will see a drop in tax levies by nearly $1 million under existing bonding. With many to be paid off by 2030, Eilertson brought it to their attention that they may want to make plans to start other projects to take the place of these bonds in order to continue completing projects with similar tax levies.
Interim city administrator David Evans said looking at this allows them to plan to schedule southwest Wadena and determine how much of southwest they could pay for at that time.


“This tells about how much money we would possibly have to work with to know how big of a project we could do,” Evans said.

“We can’t kick it any further,” councilman Wade Miller said. He expressed that the plan was to start southwest Wadena when southeast Wadena was taken care of.

Evans said the city remains in a good position as they have a AA- rating. That helps them when they seek funds for these projects.

He's a writer, editor, photographer, truth seeker and promoter of the Wadena area.
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