Wakefield Senior Center Gives Update During City Council Meeting

Wakefield Senior Center Gives Update During City Council Meeting
file photo

WAKEFIELD – Wakefield’s City Council convened for their monthly meeting Wednesday night at the Civic Center. During the meeting there were two public hearings and the council heard project updates and a presentation about a potential future solar project.

The meeting began with a report and discussion from the Wakefield Senior Center. Representatives from the senior center board announced that director Sherry Oswald would be stepping down. The board also brought the council up to speed on financials. While the senior center has enough funding to operate for several years, they asked the city to consider either reducing or waiving the space’s rent. Currently, the senior center pays the city $900 per month for its portion of the Civic Center. While no official action was taken, the city council voiced its willingness to consider the issue. Council member Ross Hansen spoke of the Senior Center’s value to the community.

“We’ve put up a lot of money in the last few years into developing the community and trying to attract people to the community, I think this is less than $11,000 a year to take care of our long-time residents,” Hansen said.

Doug Dykstra, of Gen-Pro Solar Energy made a short presentation. Gen-Pro Solar Energy is a South Dakota-based company that specializes in installing solar panels for a wide range of uses. Dykstra discussed the possibility of converting some of the city’s street lights to solar powered lights. He also talked about how the city of Atkinson powers their wastewater treatment plant with solar power and suggested that may be worth looking into for the City of Wakefield. A more in depth presentation will be made at the August meeting.

The council received an update on the Munderloh Funeral Chapel project. While no action has been taken so far, the council was informed that every intention is held in continuing with the project. The city also tentatively agreed to update a lease agreement with Dennis Biggerstaff, calling into question the likelihood of approval for Red’s Range, a potential gun club on city owned property. Biggerstaff and the city have had an agreement for almost 30 years and mayor Paul Eaton expressed his wish to continue the relationship.

“I’d rather see the gun club on private property than on our city landfill that’s used by other people,” Eaton said.

Public hearings were held for consideration to amend the zoning regulations to add motels and hotels as permitted principal uses and structures to the C-2 general commercial districts and to rezone the real estate at 109 and 111 East 3rd Street from R-2 residential to C-1 central commercial district. No one spoke and ordinances to make those changes were introduced.

The next regularly scheduled Wakefield City Council meeting will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 10 at 5:30 p.m. at the Wakefield Civic Center.