Rescue act

Wadena County Council: American Rescue Act funds upcoming discussion in September

Counties are dreaming and implementing ideas for using American Rescue Act federal funds available through 2024. And commissioners say it’s time for Wadena County to discuss their ideas and guidelines associated with funds.

Ideas in other counties range from improving broadband to a business subsidy program and dealing with lost revenue, as county coordinator Ryan Odden said. Wadena County has received $ 1.3 million and expects an additional $ 1.3 million in about a year.

County Auditor-Treasurer Heather Olson said she twice requested a working session on the matter, and commissioners said they had not received her email. Commissioner Murlyn Kreklau had also previously requested updates on the formation of a funds committee. They will discuss the funds at the board meeting on September 14. The BHH Partners County Buildings report will also be discussed if possible.

While there are guidelines, Olson said aspects change frequently with the funds for the CARES Act and there are now guidelines that could change.

“If there are other things we can do to help the community as a whole and not just to build a bigger government, that’s what I think,” Commissioner Jon Kangas said at the meeting. August 17.

Here’s a look at the county’s federal fund allocations under the CARES Act in 2020:

The council also hopes to encourage the townships to apply for federal funds if the request is still open. Townships have been invited to submit previously, although there hasn’t been much interest, according to Olson. She does not know how many municipalities have applied this year. The town of Wadena will also receive funds.

The Minnesota Association of Townships has resources for spending the funds on its website.

The commissioners also:

  • Approved the full-time hiring of Wadena County Sheriff’s Office Assistant Tyler Savaloja at $ 22.78 per hour.

  • Approved the hiring of Sara Carpenter as an Administrative / Legal Assistant with the County Attorney’s Office for $ 21.47 per hour.

  • Approved to support the Minnesota Family Homeless Prevention and Assistance program with MAHUBE-OTWA.

  • Examination of the timetable for the sale of land with tax forfeiture. The sale is online via Bid4Assets. Images of the properties will be available online. A deposit of $ 100 to bid is due by September 28th. The auction opens on October 4 and ends on October 6.

  • Guarantee funds approved for the new access road to the new Tri-County health care center. The funds had originally gone to the town of Wadena, but will actually flow through the counties of Wadena and Otter Tail. Counties will work with DEED on the use of project funds.

  • Approved replacement of curve panels in the county. Most of the funding comes from a federal grant and the cost to the county is around $ 5,000. There are 47 curves in the county.

  • Thanked the Department of Social Services and Director Jennifer Westrum for their successful quality measures, including a reduction in staff turnover and the number of out-of-home placements for children, as well as working on an income processing system with the out-of-home placement program.

  • Authorized social services should start looking for a new car after an accident. The board supported the use of dividend funds from the Minnesota Counties Intergovernmental Trust for a replacement car as soon as possible, which will be discussed at a subsequent board meeting. The board also hopes for a full recovery for the employee involved in the accident.

  • Discussion of the negotiation strategy on employment contracts behind closed doors.