Two County Board members try to break from history, fails 3-2
County Board agrees to keep smaller businesses in the hunt for county legals.
WADENA — Two Wadena County commissioners wanted to buck tradition when it came to picking a county newspaper where official legal notices must be printed.
During the organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3, the county board was informed legal newspaper bids were opened on Dec. 28. It was noted that the Verndale Sun was the clear-cut winner with the lowest bid.
Wadena County Coordinator Ryan Odden explained the legal notification being discussed was in regard to the county financial statements.
County Board member Murlyn Kreklau, who represents Sebeka in District 4, suggested a strong subscription base was a good gauge of how well information is disseminated throughout the county. Kreklau suggested the numbers provided by the Wadena Pioneer Journal were not accurate. He went on to say the newspaper representing the district that he covers, the Review Messenger, was the most-read newspaper in the county.
The Pioneer Journal submitted a total subscriber base of 1,358.
Jon Kangas, who represents Menahga in District 5, also agreed with Kreklau, adding the owners of the paper in his district also live in the county.
However, neither the Pioneer Journal nor Review Messenger were the lowest bidders. A woman who was not identified noted that by not picking Verndale, the county would break past practice. She added if subscription counts were a deciding factor in picking the official county newspaper, a smaller paper like Verndale would not have a chance.
Kreklau stood his ground and Kangas also agreed to motion that the Menahga-Sebeka newspaper be the county paper where legal documents are required to be printed.
The vote failed 3-2 as board members Mike Weyer, Bill Sterns and Ron Noon opposed the motion. Instead, the majority opted to continue with the lowest bid concept and approved the Verndale Sun as its official paper for legal notifications.
- Bids per column inch for legal publications in six point were: Verndale Sun, $4; Wadena Pioneer Journal, $5.25; and Review Messenger, $5.50.
- Bids per column inch for delinquent tax notice in six point were: Verndale Sun, $5; WPJ $5.25; and Review Messenger, $5.50.
- Bid per column inch - eight point were: Verndale Sun, $5; WPJ, $5.25; and Review Messenger, $3.35.
- Bid per column inch - First financial statement were: Verndale Sun, $5; WPJ, $5.50; and Review Messenger, $5.50.
- Bid per column inch - Second financial statement were: Verndale Sun, $5; WPJ, $5.25; and Review Messenger, $11.
In other action, the county board:
- Appointed Weyer as the chair and Kangas as the vice chair.
- Approved paying a bill presented to the county by the city of Wadena for a change order to a drainage project at the fairgrounds. It was noted the change order, which cost about $3,200, was not eligible for state aid funding. The commission was informed there was enough money in the fairgrounds account to cover the cost.