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Wadena County Board considers location change

Some prefer location at the Wadena City Hall.

WadenaCountyCourthouse.JPG
Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal
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WADENA—The Wadena County Board may be moving to a new location in coming months — back to the Wadena County Courthouse.

During the Tuesday, June 21, meeting, the commissioners considered moving its meetings to an auditorium at the Wadena County Courthouse. Currently, the meetings are held in the Wadena City Council Chambers.

Technology was at the forefront of some concern when it came to changing meeting locations. Wadena County Coordinator Ryan Odden explained some upgrades would be needed to provide meeting access through the internet.

Wadena County’s Information Technology Director David Hotchkiss said he believed the county courthouse auditorium would need a camera and audio encoder.

Commissioner Murlyn Kreklau asked for the costs of bringing the auditorium up to par with technology.

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“If we had some estimates on costs to get it up and running, I might be in favor (of the move), but get those first,” he said.

If the change in location were to take place, Kreklau also recommended the commissioners continue to rent the Wadena City Council chambers for a few months, as they test the new meeting location.

“Let’s see how it works out and leave this option open,” he said.

Commissioner Sheldon Monson spoke in favor of continuing to use the city council chambers for the meetings. He said the building is easily accessible, has ample parking and adequate space for their meeting needs, as well as audio and video accessibility.

There may also be scheduling conflicts with court proceedings, if they moved to the courthouse. It was noted, if the commissioners opted to use the auditorium room and there was a jury, the jury may need the room to deliberate.

Commissioner Jon Kangas stated he would like to move to the courthouse for their meetings because the county department supervisor’s offices are in the same building.

The county board agreed to remain at its current location until a technology upgrade cost estimate could be reviewed.

The next county meeting will be on July 12. It was noted no meeting will be held July 5.

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