Wellness Center staffing restructured following director resignation
MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union platting approved; nature trail soon to be cleared; Chamber gets a boost for hiring also among items discussed.
WADENA — A second restructuring of employee positions is taking place after another resignation within Wadena city staffing.
Maslowski Wellness and Research Center director Eric Robb resigned from his position effective November 9. His last day will be October 28.
No reasoning for the resignation was given during a special Wadena City Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, however, the wellness center were discussed as an area that would not be getting a significant fund transfer as requested during city council budget talks in September.
The council accepted Robb’s resignation, thanking him for his time and effort put into the wellness center as well as wishing him well in his future endeavors.
The council moved on to discuss strategy of rewriting the job descriptions of two top positions at the wellness center and moving from two full time positions to one full-time and one part-time position.
Current full-time wellness center employee Lisa Anderson was to be offered Robb’s job at the starting pay for that position, according to City Administrator Kim Schroeder. She shared that other restructuring hires have also been started at the starting wage.
The jobs will not be quite the same after some restructuring was recommended. They are restructured by combining the wellness director and aquatic/recreation coordinator positions and creation of a part-time aquatics/recreation assistant position. Schroeder said that Anderson had expressed interest in the job. The council agreed with a recommendation from Schroeder to reduce Anderson’s former job to a part-time position.
The current full-time maintenance worker will take on the responsibility to hold the required Certified Pool Operators (CPO) license with a course already scheduled. The part-time aquatics/recreation assistant position will be posted internally first. If there’s no internal interest, the position will be advertised externally. Anderson and Schroeder will review applications, perform interviews, and select an applicant appropriate to fill the position.
Councilman Wade Miller said he was good with the plan to reduce costs as long as it was not creating undue burden on anyone by decreasing staff hours.
Anderson would be promoted to the director position effective Oct. 31, if she accepts.
This is the second resignation in recent months at the city and both have resulted in a reduction in staffing hours and costs. The other resignation and restructuring took place among administrative staff and resulted in a reduction in costs.
Chamber seeks out more funds to help hire next director
The city council approved a request of an additional $10,000 in funds to support the wage and benefits of the next Wadena Chamber of Commerce director. The city had already put $25,000 towards the position.
The Chamber started with a package of around $50,000, but all three second round candidates requested higher compensation, according to the board agenda.
On behalf of the Chamber, Chamber board member and city councilman Jesse Gibbs sought the request. He said the request would help them hire the best candidate.
The additional $10,000 was scrounged up from ARPA funding the city received that was earmarked for PPE, test kits, masks and disinfectant. City Administrator Kim Schroeder said she was hopeful they would no longer have need to use the funds for those PPE items. The funds had not yet been used, so were available for use.
Councilman Wade Miller asked if these were one time funds or if the city would be asked for it annually.
“I’m cool with sending a little money over to get it rolling again, but it’s one of those things, yeah it’s a sales based job,” Miller said. “I just want to make sure it’s not something we’re going to boost constantly.
It was not expected to be a regular visit to the council for these funds, Schroeder stated.
The city used CARES funds in the past as well as the county’s public health department to get their PPE needs so far. Miller noted that the chamber director job was affected by COVID so using this funding for this use was legitimate.
MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union gains approval for building project plat
MidMinnesota Federal Credit Union moved into town on June 1, 2022, in the former Wadena Federal Credit Union. Now they have approval for a new building site following approvals at a Wadena City Council special meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
The new building location being eyed is at the corner of First Street NW and Juniper Avenue, just across the street from Walmart and Dollar General. The council approved a preliminary plat for the location of the new credit union following the recommendation from the planning commission.
Nature trail to be blazed
Public Works Director Dan Kovar and Lead for Minnesota fellow Lillian Norman met with a Conservation Corps representative recently, according to Planning and Zoning director Dean Uselman. They met to discuss the scope of the nature trail work needed in the new park area of the Folkestad’s East addition. The city has secured a crew of five Conservation Corps workers to clear brush on the path of the trail. Their work will cost about $6,000.
Wadena volunteer Jim Kraemer has been doing the leg work of raising the money from donations in the community. Uselman reported that he had raised $4,000 so far.
They plan to complete the work the week following deer hunting, the week of November 14.
While this initial cost will not be coming from the city residents, Uselman indicated that adding this new trail system could add to maintenance costs in the city. Additional work could include trimming grass, tree branches and generally maintaining the trail.
Schroeder wanted to inform them that the city may incur additional costs with this new park.
Understanding that, the council unanimously approved the crew coming to clear the trail. It’s expected to take the crew about one week to blaze the trail.