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Wadena once again hiring for new administrator

Applicants have until February 9 to apply.

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Civic club signs will be added to five entry points into the city in spring 2022. Contributed image

WADENA — The City of Wadena is once again advertising for a new city administrator.

The council heard a very brief update on the ongoing search for a new city administrator from interim administrator David Evans during the Jan. 11 meeting. Wage clarifications have been made for the position and the position was posted on Thursday, Jan. 13. Applicants have until February 9 to apply. Finalists are expected to be chosen on March 8 and final interviews are scheduled for April 4.

The city began this process shortly after former administrator Janette Bower resigned from her position in April 2019 to take a similar job in Alaska. The first round of interviews and offers did not result in a hire, so the process was set to restart in 2022.

RELATED: City of Wadena may forgo hiring city admin. until 2022

Evans has been filling the void in her absence, while continuing on as Utilities Superintendent.

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Questions about the position are to be directed to Pat Melvin at pat@daviddrown.com or 612-920-3320 x116.

In other actions:

  • Designating the Wadena Pioneer Journal Newspaper as the Official Newspaper.

  • Set the date and time for the 2022 regular city council meetings for the second Tuesday of the month at 5 p.m.

  • Appointed Bruce Uselman as acting mayor.

  • Designated Pederson and Pederson PA as the city’s 2022 criminal and civil legal counsel.

  • Designating the annual city election polling place at the Maslowski Wellness and Research Center for Precincts 1, 2, 3, and 4.

  • Approved hiring Michelle Anderson and Jackson Card at the Wellness Center.

  • Approved issuing Wadena Elks Lodge #2386 a liquor license for 210 Jefferson Street South.

  • Confirmed the mayor’s reappointment of Tricia Taggart to the Library Board.

  • Confirmed the mayor’s appointment of Brad Swenson to the Housing and Redevelopment Board.

  • Approved placement civic club signs at Wadena entrance sign locations. The signage featuring six local service groups will be placed at five entry points into the city of Wadena. It includes Elks, Lions, Rotary, VFW, American Legion and the Wadena Convention and Visitors Bureau.

  • The water tower refurbishment contract was tabled.

  • Authorized Bolton & Menk to advertise for bids for utility improvements on the TCHC Site, along Greenwood Ave and on State Hwy 10. This project is estimated to cost around $3.6 million.

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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 water loop to be added. Contributed image

  • Voted for Bill Stearns for the Sourcewell Board of Directors. Crow Wing County Commissioner Steve Barrows was the other candidate for the spot.

  • Approved the 2022 city employee wellness program. This helps employees get reduced memberships at the Wellness Center and encourages employees to live a healthier lifestyle. This year shows an increase in city contribution to $3,000, as funds ran short last year. Evans said 44 employees participate.

  • Authorized submission of an application for a MnDOT limited use permit for amenities on the MnDOT owned bare lots at the Intersection of HWY 10 and HWY 71. This may sound familiar as the city approved work to be done at this site, which is part of the “Crossroads Project.” Kovar has been working with MnDOT to improve the site, but the first application filed was the wrong application. They must now submit a new application and follow a limited use permit. Construction is to include addition of tree plantings, which were approved in fall 2021.

  • Adopted the 2022 City of Wadena part-time wage scale. This was adopted during the December meeting but amendments were made. There was a correction to the police secretary position, part-time police officers, election judges, water department assistant, and members of the fire department.

  • Confirmed the mayor’s reappointment of Jeffrey Browne to the Wadena Development Authority Board.

In department reports:
The council heard from Public Works Director Dan Kovar, who shared that the two-hour parking signs for downtown Wadena have arrived. When able, they’ll be installing.

Kovar added that snow clean up has been going well considering the amount of snow. Council members also thanked the crews that have kept the city clear of snow. Kovar added that he’d like to discuss options for removal of vehicles from streets in a snow emergency.

Evans noted that there has been concern over snow around hydrants and crews are getting to them as time allows. The public is also encouraged to keep their nearby hydrant clear if they are able to do so.

Planning and Zoning director Dean Uselman said he’d like to take a fresh look at the old airport plat and potentially bring forth a modified plat. Uselman said the current plat includes lots that are too small for today’s homeowner.

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Uselman is also continuing conversations with developers interested in lots in Folkestad’s East Addition. He is developing a secondary plan if the county does not agree to use some of their ARP funds for the development of the land.

Uselman noted the sale of a lot for a car wash in the Industrial Park has been completed. That is expected to be constructed in the spring.

The Tri-County Health Care tax abatement committee is planning to meet again next week. Stepping in for councilman Bruce Uselman is Mayor George Deiss, joined by Jessie Gibbs. They are to again discuss whether to allow some amount of tax abatement for the new health care facility.

The council next meets at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 18, in the council chambers.

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