Wadena County Fairgrounds 4-H building remodel discussed – Wadena Pioneer Journal

WADENA – A health official visited the Wadena County Fairgrounds 4-H building and determined that updates are needed.

The 4-H building was stated to have been built in 1982.

Commissioner Bill Stearns said the 4-H group is creating a committee to plan and oversee the kitchen and bathroom remodel project. Discussion was also had about improving the building insulation, ceiling tiles and more.

To raise funds for the remodeling project, the 4-H group is reviewing if offering the building for winter storage is more or less lucrative than if the space was rented for events, especially after updates are completed.

Stearns said he expects the remodeling plan will take the 4-H committee several months to create, after which a request for funds from the county may be presented.

The county was stated to own the 4-H building, but the commissioners were questioned if tax-payer funds could be spent on a 4-H project.

It was noted the fairground account currently has about $214,000 in it.

Wadena County Attorney Kyra Ladd suggested going over approved county expenditures at a future meeting.

Extension office, elections coordinator position to be combined

The Wadena County extension office position may be combined with the elections coordinator position, as both are seasonal and do not overlap.

The elections coordinator position is currently held by Joy Weyer of the auditor treasurer office.

It was stated the extension office position has been vacant since last February, due to a retirement.

The county board was told that a calendar is being developed for the potential new hire that would designate how much time the employee would spend at each office. Once the proposal is done, it would be brought back to the county board for review and approval.

It was also noted the new position would actually result in a reduction of county staff by one full-time equivalent.

The commissioners approved combining the position descriptions.

Commission to review options to pay TAC members

The commissioners were informed the county’s Transit Advisory Committee, which are seats filled by members of the public, do not receive per diem or mileage for meeting attendance.

The committee had been paid a stipend and mileage, until the county auditor informed commissioners that state and federal money can not be used to pay for meeting attendance or travel. The question was then posed, does the county want to pay those expenses?

The commissioners were informed there are typically up to eight of the 13 members who regularly attend the meetings. TAC meetings are held four times per year.

The question was also asked if there was an option to host the meetings over the internet, which would reduce mileage expenses.

The commissioners agreed to explore the budget impact, if the county could use funds to pay public members for committee attendance and if there were any open meeting law issues with internet-based meetings.

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