Wadena County Commissioners To buy or lease, improvement projects, Truth in Taxation

Updated: Dec 5, 2019

by Trinity Gruenberg


The Wadena County Commissioners held their regular meeting, followed by the Truth in Taxation meeting on November 25 at the Wadena County Courthouse.

State Firewall Grant

IT Director Dave Hotchkiss presented a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for $33,000. It is earmarked for firewalls for the county and Firepower security software to better protect infrastructure. Firepower is a $6-8 thousand investment. The state will help monitor and mitigate issues. The county will own the hardware. The cost will be $130 per month after the third year. The grant covers the first three years.

The Commissioners approved the grant.

Capital Improvement Projects and Legislative Grants

Commissioner Bill Stearns explained that the first two legislative appropriations, $600,000 each, had no designation on what the funds could be used for. The second two appropriations were designated for Human Services. The 2018 appropriation was split up: $225,000 for Human Services and $84,000 for sheriff’s radios. The remaining funds will go to Human Services in two amounts, $150,000 and $140,921. There was discussion on transferring approximately $300,000 to the non-levied building fund.

The county is estimated to receive a $1.7 million return for South Country Health Alliance over the next five years, approximately $340,000 a year to be placed in the non-levied building fund. They are looking at $1.24 million in the non-levied building fund in the next two years.

County Auditor/Treasurer Heather Olson cautioned the commissioners on making decisions based on what South Country said until they get it in writing.

The plan is to fix the west wall of the Wensman building, add stucco, and build offices for the workforce center. Then move the workforce center to the Wensman building out of social services to free up office space for social services. The west wall isn’t an exterior wall and is made of brick.

County Coordinator/Engineer Ryan Odden presented a proposal from Foss Architecture for this project with a proposed fee of $55,000. The other project discussed by the building committee was to design a secure elevator in the courthouse. They are looking at the roofs for county buildings. . . .

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