Wells plans to build ice skating rink
Nothing says winter fun like an ice rink, and the Wells City Council is hoping to give an ice rink a shot at Half Moon Park this year.
After a previous inquiry by Mayor David Braun, and direction from the council to speak with the city’s Park Board regarding the possibility of setting up an ice rink, the city has decided to try things out.
“In the past, we’ve had years where only one or two people use it all winter long, and then there have been times where we’ve gotten a lot of use out of it,” said Wells street foreman Mike Pyzick. “It takes some grading and some work to get a flat pond, and since the ground is solid we may not have a flat surface, but I think we can make it work. We will flood it and berm it and see what we can do.”
The ice skating pond will be located between the basketball court and the tin shed at Half Moon Park. The city will also have warming house hours that are yet to be determined.
Pyzick also mentioned the first snow removal for the street department went well, but for city police, it was not the case.
“We already declared our first snow emergency,” said Tim Brenegan. “Several citations were issued and we hope to continue to get the word out so that people have vehicles moved before plows go out.”
With regard to snow removal, the City Council approved an airport snow removal bid from Land Preparation, LLC. Their proposed bid for snow removal at the Wells Municipal Airport was $100 per hour for the 2019-2020 winter season, which includes labor, fuel, equipment, insurance and any other expenses required to perform the task.
On the topic of the Wells Municipal Airport, council spent time talking with Matt Cole, who filled in for city engineer Travis Winter. The Bolton & Menk representative filled the council in on the progress of the airport project, which he stated was mostly complete.
“We have some minor touch ups to do to the berm, but other than that, we are pretty much complete,” said Cole.
“The Airport Commission is very pleased with the work,” Pyzick told the council. “It’s a great improvement for our little airport.”
In other portions of the Wells City Council meeting, members of the council received word that the punch list for the Sixth Street project was complete and moved to approve the final pay request for the Sixth Street SW project, which came to $102,370.26. Councilwoman Crystal Dulas abstained from the vote, and councilwoman Brenda Weber was absent. All three remaining members John Herman, Jessica Mortenson and Mayor David Braun voted in favor of the final authorization of payment.
As the council conversed on payments, city administrator CJ Holl brought up the opportunity to refund a bond. Holl stated current interest rates are good and it could be an opportunity to refinance one of the city’s bonds. Holl stated the refinancing could save the city $21,226.15, but would cost $12,000 to Northland Securities, Inc. to assist in that bond restructuring.
“While it may seem like a steep price, we would save that amount of money over time,” said Holl.
“Twelve grand seems like a lot to refinance a little bit of money,” said Dulas.
“It is a small opportunity to save some dollars, but an opportunity all the same,” responded Holl. No action was taken with regard to the refinancing opportunity.
The council also decided to hold an all-city meeting, or united board meeting, for the month of January. All city committees and organizations will come together for a strategy session to discuss direction for the city, important issues and other topics. A solid date has yet to be determined for the meeting.
Finally, the last item on the council’s agenda was a closed session for strategy for labor negotiations. The council directed city administrator Holl to work with union representatives on the results of the employee pay equity and wage survey study for ratification. The council adjourned at 6:17 p.m.
The next Wells City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 25, at 5 p.m., in the Wells Community Center.