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Wadena County Commissioners: Two new commissioners join the board

by Trinity Gruenberg

The Wadena County Commissioners held their first regular meeting of the new year on January 5. New Commissioners Michael Weyer and Murlyn Kreklau were sworn in. Sheldon Monson was elected board chair, Kreklau and Jon Kangas were both nominated for vice-chair. Kangas won the position with three of the five votes.

Housing Study

Katie Heppner, executive director of the economic alliance and a member of the strategic planning and economic development committee, and Scott Knudson, of Community Partners Research, briefly reviewed the housing study. A full presentation will take place on January 20 in a virtual town hall meeting.

The cities of Menahga, Sebeka, Staples, Verndale, and Wadena and a countywide summary were looked into with data from the county, the census and other information looking at various aspects including home values, building permit issuance and housing development.

Knudson explained additional housing is needed in each community and people would benefit from diversified housing to assist with the aging population and allow younger families the opportunity to get into a home.

COVID Update

Ryan Odden, the county coordinator/engineer, said the COVID-19 executive committee did not meet as there were no major items to discuss. Monson didn’t see the need for them to meet weekly. Kyra Ladd, county attorney, added it is easier to cancel a meeting than it is to schedule one. They will keep their standing meeting schedule and cancel if they do not need to meet.

The state has approved more funding. Heather Olson, auditor/treasurer, explained there are three tiers.

The first tier and second tier went to specific businesses such as convention centers and theaters. The third tier goes to the county. These funds are more defined on what they can be used for than the previous CARES Act funds. . .


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