New church has expressed interest in senior center

By Chad Koenen

The Henning City Council has approved moving forward with selling the city-owned senior citizens center building. 


Photo by Chad Koenen

The city-owned Henning Senior Citizens Center building could soon have a new owner.

During its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday night, the Henning City Council approved moving forward with selling the building.

Henning City Councilwoman Tammy Fosse made the motion to move forward with selling the building. How exactly the city would sell the building, whether it be through a real estate agent or by a bidding process, was not clear at the meeting.

Recently, the city council was contacted by members of the Henning Area Christian Fellowship group about purchasing the building from the city for their church. The group currently rents the building, but was willing to purchase it to provide a more permanent home. When the group approached the city council they said they would make, sure the senior citizens would be able to utilize the building if they were allowed to complete the transaction.

At a recent city council meeting, the city council gave Henning Mayor Darren Wiese the ability to get an appraisal on the senior citizens center, Willow Creek and Countryview buildings to determine their value. Wiese was not at the meeting last Monday and it was not clear whether that had been completed. 

In other news

• Heard from Amy Baldwin of Otter Tail County to allow a combined county HRA and EDA to do work in the City of Henning. 

• Heard of a request from Carl and Debra Linderkamp to detach from the City of Henning. The property is located near the airport and does not receive water, sewer or other utilities from the City of Henning. 

• Heard from Bob Schliemann of Apex Engineering about the overall project cost of the Inman St. utility and street improvement project, as well as the main wastewater lift station improvement. The lone bid the city received was from Sellin Brothers for $2.689 million. The total project cost was estimated to be $3.4 million, of which the city was responsible for $1.834 million. Schliemann said the city is eligible for grant funding for up to 80 percent of the project. Unfortunately, due to the increased cost and projects listed ahead of the City of Henning, there are no grant funds available. If the city moved forward at this time, the city would just receive a low interest loan and not grant funding. The city council delayed making a decision on the project due to a lack of grant funding and will make a final decision about the project in July. 

• Heard MnDOT is willing to increase the width of the parking lane near the elevator on Highway 108 to 14 feet, from the originally proposed 10 feet. The cost for making the change will be $3,500, which will be the city’s responsibility. The council approved the change. 

• Approved contracting out the billing for two elderly waiver delinquent accounts at Willow Creek. The city has gained ground on outstanding elderly waiver, but two accounts continue to be delinquent. The city will also receive training as part of the contract.

• Heard from Willow Creek Executive Director Lisa Augustus about the need to hire four full-time staff members to add to the facility. She would like to take some of the hours being covered by part-time employees and combine them into a full-time job. She said she wasn’t sure how making the positions would affect the city’s and Willow Creek budget when it comes to things like insurance at this time. Augustus said she will bring the issue forward for the next city council meeting. 

• Discussed a purchase of land in the industrial park by Pro Ag. The sale price for the land will be $15,000, but all but $1 will be refunded to Pro Ag if certain conditions are met. 

• Heard a concern from Beth Rose about outstanding utility bills. Rose owns several rental buildings in town and recently had a tenant who owed the city over $600 in back bills. Since the utility bills follow the property owner it was her responsibility to collect the money or pay the bill. While she was able to turn the utility bill over to collections, she asked the council to work with landlords in the community to prevent bills from being built up over time.