Wadena City Council: 72 youth served in diversion program last year

Maslowski Wellness and Research Center is getting its first big event with alcohol allowed.

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WADENA — The youth diversion program in Todd and Wadena County, Community Concern for Youth, has shown continued high caseloads according to a presentation by Todd-Wadena Community Corrections Senior Corrections Agent Dan Huebsch.

He’s been involved in the program for six years and saw 72 new cases from August 2021 to August 2022. Among those, 29 were from the Wadena-Deer Creek School District.

The Community Concern for Youth (CCY) Program is a service available to youth who attend school districts in Todd and Wadena Counties. The CCY Program is designed for early prevention, intervention, and diversion of juveniles ages 10-17, who are experiencing personal problems as well as problems with the law. One-on-one meetings are held with students on a regular basis. The purpose of this program is to prevent youth from entering the court system, by working with youth and their families to hold the youth accountable, assist youth in finding positive ways to resolve conflicts at home, school, or in their personal lives, and provide opportunities for change.

Huebsch made his annual request with the city, this time for $3,466, an increase from 2021. Once approved, the Wadena-Deer Creek School Board would contribute $3,430.00, for a total community contribution of $6,896.00. CCY intends on collecting a total of $18,576 from four cities and schools in Wadena County to help pay for the programming, which is then free to the youth.

While Huebsch had 72 new cases in the last year, he also closed out 79 cases in that time. A closeout is where the youth do the work requested of them to get involved in something productive that can help them avoid a rerun with corrections officers.


Almost 80% of referrals have been kept off probation, according to Huebsch. The youth contributed 226 hours of community service, 126 hours of volunteer time, and tended to and harvested 1,600 pounds of produce at the Legacy Gardens in Staples.

Volunteer work is a portion of the program, but they like to play hard too. In the summer time they try to stay busy by going fishing, biking, going to a Twins game or other outings.

“It’s a lot of activity that kids that I work with ordinarily would not be able to do,” Huebsch said.

City hopes the change to no parking lessens headaches and saves money.

In other actions, the council:

  • Approved a conditional use permit to excavate sand from the southeast corner of a parcel located on the 300 block of Greenwood Ave. NW. The action was first recommended for approval from the Planning Commission. There were four people that responded to the request for comment. All were supportive of the project as long as the dig area was reclaimed. The project looks to remove a rise of land to make the site level, according to planning and zoning director Dean Uselman. The sand will be used for the Greenwood Ave. project now under construction.
  • Approved a gambling permit for the Verndale Lions to offer charitable gambling at the Highway 10 Billiard and Pub, a new business coming to Wadena at 706 Ash Ave NW.
  • Approved a resolution urging Governor Walz to declare a special session of its lawmakers to work together to pass a bonding bill. This resolution was circulating around to the League of Minnesota Cities partners in an effort to gather wide showing of support for a special session.
  • Approved a liquor license for Hwy 10 Billiards and Pub.
  • Approved Oma’s Breads to offer catering with liquor at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center.
  • Approved Hubbard Broadcasting Inc. three year lease agreement with the city.
  • Approved a bench donation from Roger Folkestad. The plan includes several granite benches, which would be placed throughout the planned park area in the new Folkestad’s East Addition in Wadena.
  • Approved amending water service rules and regulations, which amends an ordinance related to water service from the City of Wadena. The major change in the language is one council members felt would be better for residents as it states that the customer shall be responsible to install, own and maintain the water service line from the utility's curb stop or property line, whichever is greater to the premise of building where water service is used. This is a change from the city making the customer responsible for the line starting at the water main. This puts more of the responsibility back on the city as a whole rather than the affected property owner.

Following this discussion, Kovar noted that the city should look at making a similar change for the sewer pipes.

Michael Johnson is the news editor for Agweek. He lives in the city of Verndale, Minn., but is bent on making it as country as he can until he returns once more to the farm living he enjoys. Also living the dream are his two children and wife.
You can reach Michael at or 218-640-2312.
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