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Wells wants administrator in by April 9

By Staff | Mar 18, 2018

Time is ticking for the Wells City Council as they prepare to choose a new city administrator.

During their regular meeting last Monday, March 12, it was decided by the council that the city administrator interview committee would be comprised of five members, two of which will be City Council members.

The council members chosen were Mayor David Braun, as well as councilwoman Crystal Dulas. Jennie Kloos, Bill Groskreutz, Jr. and Jeff Amy are the three other members of the committee.

South?Central Service Cooperative representative Wendell Sande is assisting the city in its new administrative search and will be helping the committee with interviews as they come up at the end of March.

According to the official timeline, Sande is currently reviewing and ranking applications and conducting phone interviews and background checks. Once he has this complete, he will recommend the applicants for the first round interviews.

From March 19-24, the interview committee will conduct the interviews and recommend three finalists. From there, between March 26 and March 31, a community reception will be held for the finalists and is open to the public. A specific date will be contingent upon the candidates availability. Then, final interviews with the City Council will take place.

April 9 is the proposed date for approving the employment agreement for Wells’ new city administrator.

And, the Wells EDA?is back up to a full board after Jim Heckman vacated his seat at the end of 2017.

Lauren Schuster was approved by the City Council to fill the vacated seat on the EDA and will be in attendance at the next EDA meeting scheduled for April 12.

In other council news, city engineer Travis Winter suggested the city transfer part of Faribault County Ditch 87 to the city’s ownership. Because CD 87 will be affected during the Sixth Street project, Winter suggested taking over the ditch.

“I spoke with Merissa (Lore) at the county level and we both agree this would be a good opportunity for the city to take this over. I believe the city of Winnebago has done something similar in the past, as well as Elmore, and this will be much easier for maintenance and working on the project,” said Winter. “Instead of getting permission from the county to work in the ditch, we would own it and work on it at will.”

Bill Groskreutz, Jr. was also in attendance at the City Council meeting and stated other cities have done similar agreements in the past.

“Ultimately, however, the decision is up to the council. I can’t speak for you, but we have seen other cities do this in Faribault County,” said Groskreutz.

With the input of multiple sound opinions from Winter and Groskreutz, as well as a thorough conversation between council members, the petition to transfer part of CD 87 was approved.

During their meeting, the council also passed and adopted a resolution to approve plans and specifications and ordering advertisements for bids on the Sixth Street project.

“Plans are ready to go,” said Winter to the council.

Bids for the project will be received by the clerk until 10 a.m. on April 6 at which time they will be publicly opened at City Hall by the city clerk and city engineer and will be considered by the council at their April 9 meeting.

Lastly at their meeting, Crystal Dulas informed the council that the Wells Fire Department had recently run into some issues after an inspection. It was found that all three truck pumpers failed, as well as their aerial truck needed some work done on it.

“I don’t want this to come as a total shock to you, but we are looking at $17,000 to $20,000 in repairs,” said Dulas. “The good news is that the air tanks we approved for them in our budget aren’t actually up for an update until 2020.”

“So, we will be robbing Peter to pay Paul, in other words?” asked Mayor Braun.

And essentially, this is the case. The council agreed that with the assistance of those extra dollars, the funds could be transferred to help with the repairs on the fire trucks. Dulas made sure to mention these issues did not coincide with the damage done when the Wells Fire Department assisted the city of Northrop back in January.

The next regular Wells City Council meeting is slated for March 26, at 5 p.m.