New Residents

Download a Copy of  The Wakon New Resident Welcome Packet

 

CITY OF WAHKON
151 – 2nd Street E
P.O. Box 8
Wahkon, MN 56386
#(320) 495-3441
www.cityofwahkon.com
cityofwahkon@scicable.com

WAHKON WELCOMES YOU!

We are so glad you’re here and hope you like this community as we do. To help you feel more at home, we have prepared this little packet of information for your use. For more information, please feel free to call city hall or others identified in this packet.

Wahkon is a great little city, and it is our hope that you will play an active role of participation in city government and the many civic events held here. Enjoy your time in Wahkon!

Sincerely,
Sandy Reichel
Wahkon Mayor

 

Wahkon Activities

Clean Up Day: Annually held in the spring sponsored by the City of Wahkon.  Look for further information in the Mille Lacs Messenger or contact city hall. Fourth of July Fireworks: Wahkon hosts a spectacular fireworks display every
year on the fourth with the help of donations from local businesses and organizations.

Recycling:  The first and third Saturdays in Onamia and the second and fourth Saturdays in Isle at the Mille Lacs County Highway Maintenance Shops. Times  are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Senior Dining: Enjoy a healthy meal at an economic price with the local seniors (60 years or older) at Wahkon Community Hall located at 151 2nd Street E. Lunch is served around 11:45 p.m. every Monday and Thursday. Meals can also be delivered to those unable to attend. Afterwards they have fun playing bingo until approximately 1:30 p.m.

Wahkon Days:  Always the third weekend of August. Includes the Classic Car Cruise on Friday; kids games, food, music, libations, parade and street dance on Saturday; and an old fashioned “free” picnic in the park on Sunday hosted by the
Wahkon Area Vision Effusion (WAVE) committee.

Wahkon City Government

Council Members:  Mayor Sandy Reichel (2014)
Municipal Buildings Commissioner:  Dan Goplen (2014)
Street & Sidewalk Commissioner:  Tony Button (2016)
Park Commissioner:  Dale Matte (2014)
Wastewater Commissioner:  Ronda Bjornson-Main (2016)
City Staff: City Clerk/Treasurer:  Karrie Roeschlein
Wastewater Operator/Maintenance: Chris Weinreich
City Hall:  Located at 151 2nd Street E
Open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Phone #320-495-3441. Email: cityofwahkon@scicable.com
City website: www.cityofwahkon.com

Council Meetings Ordinance 2005-6: Regular council meetings shall be held the second Monday of the month at 6 p.m. in the Wahkon Community Hall located at 151 2nd Street E. Until such time that there is a separate committee deemed the “Planning Commission,” council shall hear and make decisions upon such zoning related issues as conditional use permits and variances, under a separate agenda item earmarked “Zoning” within the context of the regular council meeting. Christopher Columbus Day, the second Monday of October, will not be observed as a legal holiday and public business may be conducted thereon. All meetings are open to the public.

Election Ordinance 2002-2: Regular city election shall be held biannually on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year. Polling place is Wahkon City Hall located at 151 2nd Street E, which shall be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. Two council members shall be elected for four-year terms and the Mayor shall be elected
for a two-year term at every election.

Local Parks & Organizations

Wahkon has three parks in town for your enjoyment. The Ellen Ruth Park at 105 1st St. E has a picnic area; City Park at 250 4th St. E has a boat launch, fishing pier and pavilion and the Vets Park at 505 North Main has playground equipment and benches to enjoy the beautiful view of Mille Lacs Lake. The Soo Line Trail runs through our backyard from Isle
to Onamia and is for walkers, bicyclists, 4- wheelers and snowmobiles.

If you would like to become involved in the community, please contact City Hall for further information on local committees such as the Wahkon Area Vision Effusion (WAVE) and Wahkon Days. There is also a new area chamber of commerce which includes Wahkon, Isle Area Chamber of Commerce for those interested in the business side of things.

Street & Sidewalk Commissioner

General Description:  The Street & Sidewalk Commissioner shall oversee the maintenance, repair and general upkeep of streets and sidewalks in the City of Wahkon. He/she shall have the authority to inspect and make recommendations relative to their upkeep, including plowing and sanding during the winter months; be a liaison between council and
employees, contractors, volunteers, committees and organizations; and authorize employee overtime necessitated by circumstances that may arise.

He/she shall have the authority to authorize and/or approve purchases up to $1,000 based on appropriations contained in the City’s budget. Items not appropriated through the annual budget must be approved by the City Council.

The City Clerk/Treasurer must ensure adequate funding is available from the funding source and verify that City Council or Commissioner’s approval, whichever is applicable, has been obtained for the purchase.

Tony Button appointed @ 1/14/2013 CC Meeting

Municipal Buildings Commissioner

General Description:  The Municipal Buildings Commissioner shall oversee the maintenance, repair and general upkeep of city owned buildings. He/she shall have the authority to inspect and make recommendations relative to their upkeep; be a liaison between council and employees, contractors, volunteers, committees and organizations; and authorize employee overtime necessitated by circumstances that may arise.

He/she shall have the authority to authorize and/or approve purchases up to $1,000 based on appropriations contained in the City’s budget. Items not appropriated through the annual budget must be approved by the City Council. The City Clerk/Treasurer must ensure adequate funding is available from the funding source and verify that City Council or Commissioner’s approval, whichever is applicable, has been obtained for the purchase.

Dan Goplen reappointed @ 1/14/2013 CC Meeting

Park Commissioner

General Description:  The Park Commissioner shall oversee the maintenance, repair and general upkeep of parks and trails in the City of Wahkon. He/she shall have the authority to inspect and make recommendations relative to their upkeep; be a liaison between council and employees, contractors, volunteers, committees and organizations; and authorize employee overtime necessitated by circumstances that may arise.

He/she shall have the authority to authorize and/or approve purchases up to $1,000 based on appropriations contained in the City’s budget. Items not appropriated through the annual budget must be approved by the City Council. The City Clerk/Treasurer must ensure adequate funding is available from the funding source and verify that City Council or Commissioner’s approval, whichever is applicable, has been obtained for the purchase.

Dale Matte appointed @ 1/14/2013 CC Meeting

Wastewater Commissioner

General Description:  The Wastewater Commissioner shall oversee the maintenance, repair and general upkeep of city owned wastewater utility system. He/she shall have authority to inspect and make recommendations relative to its upkeep; be a liaison between council and employees, contractors, volunteers, committees and organizations; and authorize employee overtime necessitated by circumstances that may arise.

He/she shall have the authority to authorize and/or approve purchases up to $1,000 based on appropriations contained in the City’s budget. Items not appropriated through the annual budget must be approved by the City Council. The City Clerk/Treasurer must ensure adequate funding is available from the funding source and verify that City Council or Commissioner’s approval, whichever is applicable, has been obtained for the purchase.

Ronda Bjornson-Main reappointed @ 1/14/2013 CC Meeting

 

Wahkon Welcomes You

New residents or long-time neighbors are urged to participate in community activities, whether attending a City Council session, volunteering for Wahkon Days, joining local organizations or simply enjoying our many recreational opportunities.

City Sets Rules

Over the years, the Wahkon City Council has drafted and passed a number of city ordinances. Many are available via email at: cityofwahkon@scicable.com or for review at www.cityofwahkon.com These rules were put into effect to make life here in this year-round vacation mecca a little more civilized.

Following is a brief overview of city ordinances, not meant to be a substitute for a full reading of applicable ordinances available at the City Clerk’s office during office hours, weekdays 9A.M. To 1  P.M

Zoning

A close reading of the zoning ordinance, No. 2006-1, reveals that the city is concerned with defining residential and commercial uses as well as protecting health and welfare and the property values in Wahkon.

The ordinance defines homes, businesses, home occupations and industries, as well as types of land and lots. Included are installation requirements, definitions of manufactured housing, nonconforming uses, permits, excavations or alterations, zoning fees and violations. Special permits are required for conditional use, variances and subdivisions. Hearing requirements are also detailed.

Thinking of building or adding on to your place? Check out the ordinances at City Hall that are easy to read and designed to speed your project along while you adhere to the rules and regulations that have been codified over the years such as those setting out minimum house dimensions and setbacks.

A zoning packet has been prepared which offers the builder step-by-step instructions, forms to file and fees to pay. An inspector will stop by the site and issue a permit if all regulations have been met.  Property owners unable to meet all applicable zoning requirements may begin the variance process, wherein a public hearing is scheduled before the city council. In some instances, a survey will be required prior to the hearing.

There’s a permit for just about every imaginable project, excavation or building, so check with city hall before initiating construction plans. The city adopted the Minnesota Basic Code, amended and supplemented, with a schedule of fees and charges for various services, licenses and permits.

Sewer System

Wahkon’s municipal sewer system maintains its own set of fees for hookups and charges. Billing is quarterly. See city hall for full details.

Shoreline Management

As protection of the lake is an issue statewide, the city recognized and adopted Department of Natural Resources guidelines (see Shoreline Management Ordinance) for construction, excavations or landscaping within 1000 feet of the shores of Mille Lacs and in watershed areas.

Law and Order

Among the city council’s concerns over the years have been issues of trespassing in public building or grounds, discharging firearms within city limits (Minnesota Basic Code 130-2), curfew violations and vehicle operation including snowmobiles and ATVs (Minnesota Basic Code 92.18).

Fire protection services are contracted with the City of Isle (911 for emergency). Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office patrols the entire county including the City of Wahkon (911 for emergency). The Sheriff’s Office cooperates with other area law enforcement agencies including Isle Police Dept. and MN DNR.

Unsupervised kids under the age of 16 are subject to a curfew, 10 P.M., until 5 A.M., under most circumstances. Parents are responsible for their youngsters regarding this curfew according to Ordinance 1995-2.

Liquor Laws

State laws govern the sale and consumption of beer, wine and liquor, (see Minnesota Liquor Control Board permits and MN statutes). The city also issues one-day 3.2 licenses for social activities and/or events sponsored by an organization.

Parking

To ensure traffic flow, snow removal and emergency vehicle operation, the city bans: parking in alleys, overnight parking on streets from Nov. 1 to April 1, or parking within 20 feet of intersections.  The city adopted state codes for other traffic laws.

Services and Utility Franchises

Since utilities are essential to modern life within the city, the council over time has ordained that franchises and easements are granted to electricity, natural gas and cable television suppliers.  Current franchises are issued to East Central Energy, Minnegasco and SCI Cable.

Throughout the state, excavators are obliged to phone Gopher State One Call, 800-252-1166, at least 48 hours before you dig.

As previously noted, the city provides sewer service while water is the responsibility of the homeowner.

Business/Gambling

From time to time, folks arrive with the idea of setting up shop, temporarily or long-term, with various enterprises or things for sale. The city has a number of ordinances covering these enterprises. Also adopted are laws covering gambling, charitable or otherwise. Best to check before gaming.

The city has a host of rules for merchants to read carefully on the subjects of peddling, hawking, setting up recycling, pawnbroking and transient merchandising.

Keeping it Tidy

According to public input at a number of city forums, the prevailing mood is to properly store and dispose of garbage and junk, as well as to keep our property maintained. The overall appearance of our town indicates pride in our community, neighbors and ourselves.

The city council has followed up with this sentiment with ordinances regulating blight, weeds, junk vehicles and assorted trash. Burning barrels have also been prohibited, as they are unhealthy for people and wildlife.

The city has also asked folks to keep city sidewalks cleared of snow, ice leaves and dirt, and unencumbered with obstructions.

Burning Issues

Aside from the aforementioned ban on trash burners in Wahkon, the city follows Minnesota’s extensive open-burning rules.

As a courtesy to residents, the city clerk is also the Fire Warden who issues free permits for fires that exceed limits of campfire pits, which, by state law, may not exceed three feet in diameter, have cleared area of five feet from the burn, and which are limited to burning vegetative material only. The state issues advisories regarding fire dangers and approved burning.

On-line state burning permits for a fee, are offered by the DNR. See the website www.dnr.state.mn.us for details. Fire wardens and the DNR website offer copies of the MN open burning laws.

So, if you are thinking of lighting up a pile of brush or some grass and weeds locally, consult city hall. There the clerk will go over the dimensions of the burn and, if burning restrictions are not in effect, issue a burning permit. Permits are effective during prescribed times only. See city hall or  local and state on-line services before commencing any open burn.

Pets and Critters

Dogs, wild critters, farm animals and fowl came under the scrutiny of the city, which enacted restrictions regulating animals within city limits. Folks who keep a number of pets are urged to check ordinances 1993-1 and 1995-1.

Farm animals, including chickens, need at least five acres to roam, as well as clean premises, according to the council. Free range farm animals may not stray from the owners’ acreage. The ordinances also detail dangerous and nuisance dogs, dog and cat kennels, wild animals and penalties for violations.

On Ice

After winter sets in folks may want to take a look at the guidelines for cutting big chunks of ice within city limits, adopted by the council on December 2, 1912. Basically, the city fathers asked cutters to put up fences around their excavations until the ice thickened to six inches. This law is still on the books just in case ice boxes come back into vogue.

Since fish houses are another choice of many sportsmen for winter ice-angling, the city adopted rules and regs for storage of these shanties, whether on wheels or skids.

Good Government

Council passed various ordinances over the years to take care of bonds for city officials, definitions for clerk-treasurer, council salaries, meeting dates, workers’ compensation, personal time off for employees, election dates, holidays and various other housekeeping issues to keep the wheels of government turning smoothly.

The public is welcome to review the applicable rules and definitions. Copies may be obtained at city hall for a fee. The clerk also offers notary services. Want a copy of the agenda or meeting minutes?

Go to www.cityofwahkon.com and pull up a copy for free, or drop by city hall to obtain a copy for a small fee.

Remember, there is no substitute for a careful reading of the ordinances, which apply to your current interests.

http://www.co.mille-lacs.mn.us
Administrative Services Office

320-983-8218- Employee insurance, recruitment process
320-983-8378 – Board agendas & minutes
320-983-8269 – Financial policy, account questions
Assessor’s Office
320-983-8311

Attorney’s Office
320-983-8305

Auditor-Treasurer’s Office
320-983-8310 – Land ownership, transfers, maps/plats, escrows, passport
320-983-8304 – Property tax
320-983-8302 – Gravel tax
320-983-8272 – Mobile home tax
320-983-8465 – Elections, voting
320-983-8287 – Bills, employee payroll

Community & Veterans Services
320-983-8208

Court Administration
(part of 7th Judicial District)
320-983-8313

Land Services Office
320-983-8308 – Land records, document recording, building/zoning, septic systems
320-983-8232 – Wetlands
320-983-8236 – Birth, death & marriage certificates, military discharge, Notary Public commission

Probation Office
320-983-8202

Public Works
320-983-8201

Sheriff’s Office
320-983-8250 – Administration, civil process, mortgage foreclosure sales, gun permits
320-983-8245 – To speak with an officer
320-983-8244 – Inmate information
320-983-8248 – Incident reports
320-983-8450 – Fingerprinting, pay-to-stay, jail visiting

U of M Extension (contracted service) – The County contracts with the University of Minnesota for the provision of Extension activities, including 4-H, the Nutrition Program, and the Master Gardener Program. Clerical support for these
services is provided through the Administrative Services Office.
320-983-8317

SERVICE PROVIDER LIST FOR WAHKON AREA

CITY SEWER
City of Wahkon (sewer only) 320-495-3441

TELEPHONE
Frontier Communications 800-921-8101

ELECTRIC SERVICE
Mille Lacs Electric Cooperative 800-450-2191
East Central Energy 800-254-7944

LP & NATURAL GAS COS.
Centerpoint Energy/minnegasco 800-245-2377 (Residential)
Lakes Gas (Onamia) 320-532-3305
Federated Co-op (Mora) 320-679-1166

TRASH REMOVAL
Nitti’s Rolloff Service, Isle 320-676-3227
Jim’s Mille Lacs Disposal 320-983-6474
Wayne’s Sanitation 320-495-3701

POSTAL SERVICES
Wahkon 320-495-3542

BURIED CABLE
Gopher State 800-252-1166

CABLE SERVICES

Direct TV 800-531-5000
Frontier Communications 800-921-8101
SCI 800-222-9809

TREE REMOVAL SERVICES
Cabin Savers Tree Serv. 800-706-0925
Trees by Bjorn 612-598-5544

WELL DRILLING SERVICES
A & M Drilling, Isle 320-676-3386
Hasskamp Bros., Aitkin 218-927-3571
Midwest Boring & Underground Onamia 218- 879-8621

NEWSPAPERS
Mille Lacs Messenger / Bargain Hunter 320-676-3123

SCHOOL DISTRICTS
Isle 320-676-3146 www.isle.k12.mn.us
Onamia 320-532-4174 www.onamia.k12.mn.us
Central Lakes College 800-933-0346 www.clc.mnscu.edu

MISCELLANEOUS

www.CountyOffice.org .   Government search engine for all types of departments, animal shelters, libraries, post offices, etc.

Download a Copy of  The Wakon New Resident Welcome Packet