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Wells Library had a busy year in 2019

By Staff | Mar 1, 2020

Wells librarian Betsy Bushlack at the meeting.

Betsy Bushlack, library director for the Wells Public Library gave a presentation to the Wells City Council during their Feb. 24 meeting about the progress the library has had over the last year with her direction, after the changeover from Tami Beto’s leaving.

Bushlack shared there have been 83 children’s programs and 36 adult programs over the year as well as 64 non-library events held in the community library’s conference room. She says the total tally of program attendance was 3,158.

There was also close to 20,000 visitors to the library in 2019, with almost 2,000 registered users. Bushlack shared the library stayed under budget and received $4,000 in grant money and $500 in-kind donations.

“Those grant dollars went towards programming we did throughout the year, and the donated dollars we received went to OverDrive, a service offered by the library that lets patrons borrow digital content like ebooks and audio books,” shared Bushlack.

“Betsy has done an awesome job when she took over for Tami,” shared city administrator CJ Holl. “This past year, the library’s carpet was replaced and Betsy took it upon herself to reorganize the kids area after the new carpet was put in.”

“Yes, the area near the windows is completely open, I think it’s great for the kids to look out the windows and use the natural light that comes into the library,” said Bushlack.

She says she and her staff are currently planning the summer reading program. Bushlack highlighted that the RAD Zoo (Reptile Amphibian Discovery Zoo), Siama’s Congo Roots music, and Peter Johnson’s STEM?Science program are just a few of the highlights of the library’s program for the summer.

In other business, the council discussed the need for door replacement at the community center. Holl shared the city wants to remove and dispose of the existing steel doors and frames at the front of the community building. The city looked at a proposal from Vets Glass of Winnebago for the removal of the old door and installment of a new bronze aluminum frame with clear glass, a project that would total $5,595. Holl cited this was a maintenance item that was budgeted for.

“The second option they gave us was to install the door with a new handicap opener with a wireless push button,” said Holl. “This would be an additional $2,450 for a grand total of $8,045. We have $7,000 in the budget line item of repairs and maintenance. It would be nice to have, but it has not been that way historically.”

There was some conversation about the ADA?(American with Disabilities Act) compliance of the new door if the city were to choose to not have the push button. Holl said the current push button system would stay in place.

Before the council could vote, city councilwoman Crystal Dulas requested a second quote from other glass companies including one from Martin County and one from Freeborn County. Mayor David Braun seconded the request, and the vote for the door was pushed to the next council meeting so the council had costs to compare for the repair project.

The Wells City Council also:

Approved a street parking request on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street?SW during a gun show at United South Central Schools scheduled for March 14 and 15.

Discussed the continued issue with loud snowmobiles within city limits during the evening. Mayor David Braun was first to point out the loud snowmobilers are still a concern to community members. The council considered making signage near the city limits to ensure out-of-town snowmobilers knew of the city’s noise ordinance. The city administrator mentioned the Wells City Police have been doing patrolling, but cannot be everywhere at once. Councilwoman Brenda Weber mentioned the signage would be discussed by the park board.

Tabled discussions to approve Law Enforcement Labor Services (LELS) memorandum of understanding contracts for 2021-22 for the next Wells City Council meeting scheduled for Monday, March 9.