Wells projects suffer delays due to weather
The weather is playing a major role in the progress of Wells’ multiple road projects and the Wells City Council has certainly taken notice of completion dates that have come and gone.
“The weather has been horrible, and we are dealing with this the best we can,” said Wells’ city engineer Travis Winter, of Bolton & Menk. “Third Street has been a disaster. We’ve had some failing trenches and just today, those trenches were redug and recompacted.”
City administrator CJ Holl questioned whether or not the contaminated soil found earlier in the project has been removed. Winter stated the diesel-contaminated soil has been hauled out.
“We will be requesting an extension for the Third Street project,” said Winter.
The other concern that has risen from the depths of Wells are some sewer problems.
“The crew has found a lot of sewer issues, like sewer services being connected together, so we’re now working on dismantling them and correcting those issues,” added Winter.
As for the Wells Business Park, Winter says they are hoping the ground will continue to firm up in order to finish up the concrete and paving at the park.
“It certainly doesn’t look like a business park,” said City Council member Brenda Weber.
“Unfortunately, we can’t control mother nature and have to work with what we’ve got,” was Winter’s response.
Even with the delays, the council approved the pay requests brought to them by Winter.
The full motion was to approve the pay requests of Sixth Street (first pay request) at $84,908.76, and (second pay request) $310,351.44, Third Street (second pay request) at $30,148.44, and the Wells Business Park (fifth pay request) at $44,765.33.
“Gotta spend money to make money,” said Mayor David Braun before the motion was approved by the council.
In other progress, the Wells City Council also discussed the old Paragon Bank building in their meeting. Holl presented both an air conditioning proposal and a roofing proposal to the council.
With regards to AC, Holl stated he received estimates from Ron’s Electric, Electric Service Company, and Honeywell Electric. The lowest bid was Honeywell with a cost of $14,500 to replace the unit, however that estimate did not include electrical costs.
Mid-presentation, Mayor Braun posed a question to the council.
“What’s our plan with this building?” asked Mayor Braun. “Are we moving City Hall there? Are we selling the property?”
“I would suggest a work session to discuss in detail our intentions with this building,” said councilmember Crystal Dulas.
City foreman Mike Pyzick added to the conversation, stating the wiring of the Wells Flame Theater is a part of the City Hall, so any moving out would still require service to the building to maintain the theater.
Currently at the Paragon Bank building, fans are being run to diminish damage done by a combination of roof leaks and humidity, the perfect storm for mold. Damage that includes peeling wallpaper and damaged “popcorn” ceiling surfaces.
“We are basically circulating hot air at this point,” said Pyzick.
“Most of the damage done in that building is cosmetic,” added Holl. “But we don’t want to wait much longer on fixing the issues we have before those issues get any worse.”
Dulas then made a formal motion to table the discussion and have a work session on the subject, which was then scheduled for July 23, at 5 p.m. in the Wells Community Center.
Also on the business agenda, Rick Christianson was present to request a street closure for Saturday, Sept. 15, regarding a chicken wing cook-off. The cook-off is said to have chicken wings provided by Brakebush in Wells as a fundraiser for the “Our Town USA Community Foundation.” The newly formed community foundation group is headed by Christianson and Lyle Doerr and is said to be “a very proactive and aggressive approach to beautifying the communities in eastern Faribault County,” according to Christianson.
The community foundation group hopes to beautify the communities of Wells, Easton, Kiester, Bricelyn and Freeborn by way of murals, community gardens, and other forms of beautification. A formal organizational meeting will be held at the Bricelyn Community Center on July 25, at 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
Christianson’s request to close half a block of First Street SW?and South Broadway was approved by the Wells City Council for the chicken wing cook-off.
In other business, the council also:
Accepted the preliminary site evaluation proposal from Oleson & Hobbie Architects of Mankato regarding a potential move of the Wells Municipal Liquor Store.
Went into closed session pending a litigation and mediation in the Martin and Weber cases. When the council came back into open session, city attorney David Frundt updated for the public that the council discussed the litigation, but no action was taken. Jason Kuboushek, attorney for the League of Minnesota Cities, who is handling the cases was also present at the session.
The next regular Wells City Council meeting is scheduled for Aug. 13, at 5 p.m.