Wadena City Council: Greenwood, Third Street improvements moving ahead

More steps are taken to start work on Greewood Avenue and a public hearing is planned for work on Third Street NW at 6 p.m. on June 1.

Plans are coming into place for the utility extension supporting the new Tri-County Health Care facility west of town. The thick red line indicates the project area.
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WADENA — The Wadena City Council has been taking action on items related to Greenwood Avenue for over a year and while they are getting closer, more action was needed during their regular meeting Tuesday, May 10. We may soon see work taking place.

First on their list was to receive a feasibility report and set a date for public hearing regarding utility improvements on Third St NW. This part of the project has not had much discussion so far in much of the talks related to Greenwood Avenue and the utility extension. But this is part of the route extending south from Greenwood Avenue that includes utility improvements and street reconstruction.

The proposed improvements add up to an estimated $252,300. Of that amount it’s estimated that $110,880 can be assessed to property owners. The extent of assessments on property owners along this route will be reviewed and open for discussion during a public hearing at 6 p.m., June 1, at Wadena City Hall. Notice of the hearing was to be mailed to affected parcels and published in the Wadena Pioneer Journal.

Preliminary assessments on property owners for water and sewer is showing a range of $52,123.19 and down to $8.17. Costs associated with sewer and water services are proposed to be assessed at a rate of 100% to the benefiting properties and costs associated with water main replacement and street reconstruction are proposed to be assessed at a rate of 20% to the benefiting properties.

Third Street Preliminary Report by Michael Johnson on Scribd

A preliminary engineering report from Bolton & Menk showed that such a project could be initiated by either 35% of affected property owners or by a super majority of the city council. In this case, the full council approved of the project.


The report also showed that existing infrastructure such as the clay sewer pipe was replaced in 1998 and in need of replacement again with a larger PVC pipe. The existing water main is cast iron and was installed prior to 1998.

Third Street between Elm Avenue and Greenwood Avenue is an urban roadway with curb and gutter. The road section will require reconstruction after the installation of utilities. Bituminous pavement and the associated aggregate will be replaced as part of the TCHC Utility Improvement Project involving sanitary sewer replacement.

The council also unanimously approved a resolution which authorizes the order to make improvements to Greenwood Ave. The work can now begin.

Next, they approved reimbursement bond proceeds so that work completed prior to bond funds being available can be paid out of city funds, then reimbursed once bond funds come available.

In other actions, council members approved unanimously:

  • The city being the fiscal agent to accept donations for new playground equipment at Tapley Park. This is a park board project, but the city must handle the donations.
  • Authorizing purchase of a lawnmower for the Electric Department. With several options reviewed, the council agreed with Utility Superintendent David Evans who recommended going with a Toro from Torco at a cost of $6,441.43.
  • Adopting of the Otter Tail County Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan. The City of Wadena has participated in the hazard mitigation planning process as established under the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000. The plan explains how the city of Wadena is in need of more options for storm shelters particularly for those living in mobile homes. The city was to work with the county on assessing and resolving this situation.
  • Increasing part-time wages by $1 for Maslowski Wellness and Research Center staff. The implications of this increase include about $9,432 more in expenses per year. Wellness center director Eric Robb said the increase is needed to keep and attract part-time staff. The center has seen an increase in traffic, so far an increase in $51,000 in business over the previous year numbers. This brings starting pay around $12-$13 an hour based on the position.
  • Other Greenwood discussions
    The topic is a piece of the puzzle towards bringing the Tri-County Health Care project together.
  • Authorizing Water Treatment Plant computer system upgrades. Parts for the current 2003 system are hard to come by and software is no longer supported. The completed cost of this is $105,153 and it’s to be completed by March 31, 2023. The budget for this purchase was $100,000.
  • To allow Epicenter Church to close a portion of Bryant Ave. SE on July 4 for a community event. They plan to close the street from 5 - 10 p.m.
  • Awarding street overlay bids for three city streets to Performance Paving, LLC, of Deer Creek, Minn. The city budgeted $100,000 for this purchase and the total bid came in at $92,692.24. The streets to be improved include Lincoln Ave. SW from Hwy 71 to Third Street SW; Eighth Street SW from Irving Ave. SW to King Ave. SW; and Greenwood Ave. NW from First Street NW to Second Street NW.
  • Awarding stump grinding in the city to Triple S Services for those stumps in city boulevards or parks.
  • The All-School Reunion to block off Aldrich Ave. SW from Jefferson St to First SW and use Burlington Northern Park on June 11 for planned events. The street is expected to be blocked from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and open for the parade to pass through at 3 p.m.
  • Approved temporary liquor license for the Wadena County Ag Society on May 22; June 10 and 11; June 22-25; and June 26.
  • Wadena Housing and Redevelopment Authority refinanced their gross revenue refunding bond, which is for the Fair Oaks Living atrium apartments, a 32-unit senior housing facility owned by the HRA. As part of this project, the HRA makes payment in lieu of taxes equal to 5% of the shelter rentals.

As part of this discussion, the city council opened a public hearing with no one speaking in opposition to the motion to refinance.George Eilertson with Northland Securities spoke on the refinancing and shared that doing so was wise as they were able to lower their interest rate from 6.25% to 3.5%, resulting in a savings of $157,927. The new bond size is $656,000.

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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