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Wells hires Bleess

By Staff | Aug 10, 2009

Austin Bleess

It’s not exactly a homecoming for the new Wells community development director, however, his last name will be familiar to many.

Austin Bleess, 24, of Blaine has accepted the position and will begin his new duties on Aug. 17.

Yes, he is related to the Bleesses who live in Faribault County.

“I’ve been back there many times for reunions. My wife and I are from a small town and look forward to returning to that atmosphere,” says Bleess.His father grew up in Blue Earth and later moved to Long Prairie, where Austin and his wife Beth graduated from high school.

It was the “economic grow potential” of Wells that convinced Bleess he should apply for the job.

He says being located close to Interstate 90 and having a rail line run through the city are pluses in attracting new businesses.

“The industrial park is a blank canvas. You can build it up with businesses you want and make it your own,” he says.

Bleess earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science at Bethel College and is working toward a master’s in public administration.

Bleess is serving as a Planning Commissioner for the City of Blaine. He also has worked as a communications specialist for the Minnesota House of Representatives.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann says the City Council will likely approve Bleess’ annual salary of $37,500 at tonight’s meeting.

“He’s going to have to learn a lot of aspects that are unique to our community. But, I think he’s going to be a good fit for the city,” says Germann.