Wadena County Commissioners: How will the CARES Act funding be split?

by Trinity Gruenberg


The Wadena County Commissioners held their regular meeting on July 21.

CARES Act Funding

Auditor/Treasurer Heather Olson met with committee members comprised of Commissioner Jim Hofer, County Coordinator/Engineer Ryan Odden and County Attorney Kyra Ladd, and presented a recommendation on how to split the $1.69 million CARES Act funding for the community.

They proposed $500,000 for county citizens for assistance with housing, food, financial and child care issues stemming from the pandemic; $500,000 for local business relief in the form of smaller grants to individual businesses; $400,000 for county planning and costs to mitigate COVID-19. The remaining $292,093 is to be used to replenish a section if need be in the future.

Commissioner Jon Kangas questioned how this will be done and how the requests would be approved. Olson said applicants would have to prove distress due to COVID-19 to qualify for any funds.

Commissioner Bill Stearns said he would wait to approve the plan until the committee meets and they have more information to be discussed at the next commissioner meeting.

Janette Bower, Wadena city administrator, added that the city has their CARES Act funds and they are waiting to see what the county does so they can plan how to use theirs.

The commissioners approved to table the decision until the August 4 meeting.

Kangas would like more information and added each entity should be making their own decisions on how to use their funds. . . .

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