City seeks funds for landscaping at Wadena’s ‘gateway’

The City of Wadena is seeking funding to upgrade the downtown entrance at the intersection of Highway 10 and Highway 71.

As part of the widening of the motorway in 2019, MnDOT acquired right of way and parcels from private individuals. The city expected to purchase two MnDOT packages after the project was completed. However, MnDOT has chosen to keep the lots on which Orton’s and Fastenal once did business. Since no company can get involved, the hope is to at least install something that looks good.

To cover the cost of some of the improvements, the city is trying to participate in the Community Roadside Landscaping Partnership Program. The city council unanimously approved a resolution to file a motion during a special session on Wednesday March 24th.

“We want to work with MnDOT to create aesthetically pleasing packages for the city and MnDOT,” the application says. “We believe these packages are a gateway to our inner city. It is our desire to design these plots to create an invitation and desire to explore our downtown area on Highway 10. “

A volunteer organization called Wadena Gateway was formed at the beginning of the process after buildings were demolished on the sites. A preliminary landscape plan has been put together.


Crossroads Charrette brings community designs together

Help design the future intersection of Highway 10/71

Dream a little: the group is trying to create a visual gateway to Wadena

There are plans to use both urban and volunteer labor to install and maintain the landscaping. The city will work with MnDOT to enter into a lease or restricted use permit, whichever mechanism is acceptable to MnDOT. The community’s Community Roadside Landscaping Partnership Program is designed to provide technical and financial support to communities interested in creating rights of way for state roads. This is a reimbursement program, not a grant.

“This offers at least some funding for these items,” said city administrator Janette Bower.

If approved for funding, the city may also need to provide funding for certain parts of the work and for regular site maintenance.

In other promotions:

The council unanimously approved the recruitment of Dustin Denny as a public works road worker. The position was previously offered to Benjamin Mertens, who declined the position. Denny starts at step 2 at $ 22.10 per hour with a start date on April 12, 2021.

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