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BREAKING NEWS

Wells probe complete but not released

By Staff | Mar 29, 2010

David Frundt

An investigation into alleged misconduct of two Wells city employees has been completed.

Now, City Attorney David Frundt is poring over the pages, pages and pages of information that have been turned over to him.

On Monday night, Frundt told the council he is about half way through one of the reports.

“They came in a box about the size of a dormitory refrigerator,” he says. “There is quite a bit to go through.”

The city attorney says he may have some follow-up questions for the investigator.

In November, city officials hired Setter & Associates of Brooklyn Park to look into written complaints filed against a street department employee and police officer.

City Administrator Jeremy Germann says the city has yet to receive a bill from Setter & Associates.

When the firm was hired, they submitted a cost estimate of $4,000 to $8,000.

City officials will not discuss details of the alleged misconduct in either case.

The two employees remain on the job while the matter is being resolved.

Frundt says he hopes to have another update by the next council meeting.

He says the investigation findings will be discussed with the council in a closed-session.

“It will be to see what the next step will be to properly handle it with the unions involved,” he says.

In other business, Councilman Mike Weber asked Germann if the city was going to reevaluate whether some street lights should not beturned off to save money.

Weber says some streets are “pretty dark,” especially those around the city park.

Mayor Shannon Savick says one street is totally dark because all the lights were turned off.

Earlier this month, the council voted to eliminate some street lights as soon as possible to address another cut in state aid. Officials hope to trim $10,000 from an electric bill that totals $40,000 a year.

Germann says 144 of the city’s 287 street lights have been shut off.

He says Wells Public Utilities will be contacted to see what changes can be made.

“I’m sure there are some we’ll need to turn back on and there are some we can turn off,” Germann says.

Also, Weber asked the city administrator if an update on implemented cost-saving measures could be provided at each council meeting.

He says at least five minutes should be set aside on the agenda to discuss the city’s budget woes due to reductions in state aid.

Weber suggests the council may have to look at freezing wages or allow employees to take volunteer furloughs. He says the county and state have allowed their workers to take furloughs to save money.