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Wells OKs 150th requests

By Staff | Apr 14, 2019

As the summer approaches, Wells prepares for it’s 150th anniversary celebration, also known as the town’s Sesquicentennial. The Wells City Council spent some time during their regular council meeting approving of some key planning pieces to the upcoming summer.

One of those pieces is an art design contest. Lea Nowak of the Wells Active Living Coalition (WALC), spoke in front of the council with a request to paint a crosswalk.

Nowak, after presenting her idea to the WALC, sought approval from the Wells City Council to have a crosswalk in downtown Wells be painted by Eric Allis of Flatline Design with a design chosen by WALC and paid for with SHIP dollars. The council thought the idea to be quite suitable for the celebration, and approved Nowak’s request.

Her next steps will be to approach USC to work with contest information for local students in the Wells area. The winner of the proposed art contest will see their work displayed in the crosswalk in downtown Wells and potentially receive a summer-long pool pass.

There was some conversation as to how long the council wanted the painting to last. Street foreman Mike Pyzick stated there were different paints that withstood different conditions. He also questioned whether the crosswalk would be more slippery during the winter months if the council chose a more permanent paint.

The council directed Nowak to work with the street foreman in finding a durable, long-lasting paint.

Next, citizens of Wells and members of the Wells 150th Anniversary committee, Lyle Doer, Jr. and Rick Christianson, requested a couple of street closures correlating with events going on with the Sesquicentennial from Aug. 9 – Aug. 18. Council approved those requests.

In other conversations amongst the council members, the topic of the 2019 sidewalk plan implementation was discussed. Last fall, city administrator CJ?Holl and street foreman Pyzick walked the streets of Wells tallying, photographing, and assessing the sidewalks throughout the city.

They then made a sidewalk maintenance priority list for the years 2019 and 2020. The 2019 priority projects include 1,464 feet, or 4.1 blocks, of sidewalk in 19 locations throughout Wells. Most of the street improvements set for this year will be in downtown Wells on Broadway, Southeast Wells on Seventh Street SE, and First, Second, and Third Ave SE, and two portions of First Ave SW.

Holl reminded the council that citizens are welcome to improve their own sidewalks at any time. This specific project, however, is to use the sidewalk funds collected from Wells citizens appropriately.

“This priority list was based on the conditions of the sidewalks only,” stated Holl. “Some citizens have already come to me with their concerns, and we have a priority list going for next year. Those not on the list will be added to next year’s priority list.”

According to Pyzick, while the quotes are already out for bid with contractors, the price of concrete has increased, which leads to the question of how much of the priority list will Wells be able to finish this year.

“This plan may not please everybody, but we have to stick to our plan,” said Pyzick.

Holl stated to council the improvement project would be completed some time in September for the year, and would continue its efforts in the following spring, once conditions are amiable. He also mentioned if there were handicap accessibility issues in the project, those would be fixed as well.

The Wells City Council also approved Jake’s Pizza for a 3.2 on-sale liquor license.

“I just want to know why we’ve approved Jake’s for a 3.2, and denied Marketplace Foods for their 3.2 license,” questioned Crystal Dulas.

“The difference is on-sale versus off-sale,” said Holl. “For Jake’s Pizza, patrons drink their beer or wine while dining, they do not take the alcohol outside of the restaurant. It’s a different license than what was requested by Marketplace Foods.”

When the council voted, all but Dulas approved the 3.2 licensure for Jake’s Pizza.

To end their meeting, Mayor David Braun had a proclamation for the city. April is Child Abuse Prevention month in the city of Wells. Approximately three million children are reported abused and neglected in the United States each year and the effects of child abuse and neglect are felt by whole communities. The proclamation goes on to say all citizens should become more aware of the negative effects of child abuse and its prevention within the community, and become involved in supporting parents to raise their children in a safe, nurturing environment.

“In the city of Wells, Minnesota, all citizens, community agencies, religious organizations, medical facilities and businesses should increase their participation in efforts to prevent child abuse, thereby strengthening the communities in which we live,” read the proclamation.

The next regular Wells City Council meeting is set for April 22, at 5 p.m.