Updates given on Wadena Courthouse annex
At the Jan. 31 board meeting, Wadena County Commissioners heard updates from County Engineer Ryan Odden on the Annex building project and decisions the board would need to make on aspects of the project.
Odden explained the options for doors for the enclosed connecting link between the new annex building and the courthouse. There were three options Odden presented. Commissioners could choose: a single door, a single door with side lights or a set of double doors. After discussion, commissioners voted to approve double doors on either end of the connecting link.
Odden next explained two options for heating the sidewalks from the parking lot to the connecting link. Heating the sidewalks with a hydronic (water) system or heating the sidewalks with electric heat. Odden didn’t have current cost figures for the two choices, but the hydronic option is probably the least expensive. Commissioners will wait to make a decision on this until Odden brings back the cost figures.
The issue of handling rain and ice melt from the building and connecting link roofs was the third item Odden presented to the commissioners. Currently, rain water and ice melt are pooling between the buildings, which is an undesirable situation. Odden is considering running the downspouts inside the building directly to the city sewer system. He doesn’t have cost figures for the downspout options, but will have those cost figures for a future meeting.
Odden mentioned his appreciation for County Attorney Kyra Ladd’s assistance in selecting interior finishes and other aspects for the annex. Ladd’s department will be housed in the annex when the building is completed.
Commissioners heard from Sheriff Mike Carr that his department has hired Jacob Maros, as the new sheriff’s deputy, filling a vacant position. Maros will begin his new duties on Feb. 21. Maros was an experienced officer with the Staples Police Dept. and was selected from seven candidates who were interviewed and tested for the position.
Commissioners heard an annual report from Deana Malone on the departments she directs: Zoning, Parks, GIS and Passports. Malone said that permit fees in 2016 were less than in 2015, but the number of passport applications remained the same. Camping fees from county parks were higher in 2016, bringing in a total of $19,482. The county is now in 80 percent compliance with state requirements for individual septic treatment systems in residential properties.
In other business, the board
o Held two closed meetings during the Jan. 31 meeting: one for pending litigation and one for labor negotiation.
o Approved appointments for the Public Health Advisory Committee: Marie Johnson, Sally Gorton, Darlys Hoemberg, Diane Petus, and Terri Kern. Two positions remain unfilled.