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Wells lawsuit appears to be settled

By Staff | Aug 16, 2010

Jeff Zalasky

In hopes of avoiding a lawsuit being filed by a councilmember, the Wells City Council passed a resolution during a special meeting held on Monday.

The action comes a week after two meetings to discuss “pending litigation” needed to be canceled.

Jeff Zalasky, an attorney appointed by the League of Minnesota Cities to assist the city, says the resolution spells out contingencies that must still be met.

“At this moment we are still trying to resolve issues,” he says. “Certain things have to happen in order for a settlement to take place.”

Council members, City Administrator Jeremy Germann and city attorney David Frundt met with Zalasky behind closed doors for nearly two hours.

Councilman Mike Weber did not attend the special meeting or the regular meeting scheduled later that afternoon.

Mayor Shannon Savick says some changes were made to a potential agreement reached by both parties at a mediation hearing held July 23 in New Ulm.

“They’re getting a counteroffer from us,” she says. “Hopefully they accept, otherwise the matter goes to court.”

The resolution approved by the council calls for property owned by the Webers to be de-annexed.

Zalasky would not discuss any agreement details reached during a mediation hearing.

A “demand letter” from Weber’s attorney Don Savelkoul outlines at least 10 claims against the city and damages his client is seeking.

The Register has learned the Webers were asking for more than $200,000 in damages, however, a settlement has been reached for a considerably lesser amount.

Savelkoul has said Weber will take the matter to court if an agreement cannot be reached.

Zalasky says if an agreement is reached, details will be made public.

Savelkoul did not respond to the Register’s requests for comment.