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Wells Council gets good, bad news

By Staff | Aug 16, 2020

Wells mayor David Braun, left, presents a certificate of appreciation to Jennie Kloos, who is leaving her position as deputy city clerk for the city of Wells.

The Wells City Council got some good news and some bad news at their meeting held last Monday night.

The good news was the city is receiving a prestigious award from the Minnesota League of Cities. The bad news was the city is losing one of their key staff employees.

“We were named a City of Excellence by the league,” city administrator CJ Holl reported. “This is a really high honor. It is for the work we have done for the city-wide LED light conversion in the city.”

Holl said the award includes a nice plaque to display at City Hall, a $1,000 cash award and a lot of statewide recognition.

“The league recognizes one city in the under 5,000 population category, and this year it is Wells,” Holl said. “And the city will be included in a video being made by the league about the award-winning cities.”

Another piece of good news was the report that the city’s fire department will be receiving a grant of $123,333.33 from the Federal Department of Homeland Security and FEMA.

“The city does have to match 5 percent of the grant amount, or $6,166.67,” Holl said. “The funds will be used for the purchase of new air packs.”

In the bad news department, the council regretfully accepted the resignation of Jennie Kloos, deputy city clerk/finance specialist for the city of Wells.

Kloos has been with the city for the past 12 years. Mayor David Braun presented Kloos with an appreciation certificate and he and other members of the council thanked Kloos for her years of service.

Kloos thanked the council for their support over the years and praised the other city staff members who, she said, go above and beyond the required work they do.

Holl said the city has been advertising for the position and they have received 14 applications.

“We will begin to go over the applications starting Wednesday and choose who we are going to interview,” Holl said. He clarified that it would be Police Chief Tim Brenegan and himself who would go through the applications and make sure they are qualified to do the job. Then the personnel committee decides on the candidates to interview.

Holl also pointed out that they would be having administrative assistant Tiffany Schrader do some of the work Kloos does, until a new person is hired. Schrader is also one of the 14 applicants, Holl pointed out.

He also proposed Schrader’s wage be increased by $2 per hour while she fills in at the deputy city clerk/finance specialist position.

Council member Crystal Dulas questioned whether that was enough of a compensation increase for the work, but in the end the council voted to make it a $2 per hour temporary hike.

In other business at last Monday night’s meeting, the Wells council:

Heard an update from county commissioner Bill Groskreutz concerning the County Board’s plans to disperse their Coronavirus Relief Fund money. Some will be used by the county EDA to help businesses.

As far as the funds Wells is receiving, they too will use some of the funds to help local businesses.

“We plan to create a business grant plan and model it after the ones being done in Winnebago and Blue Earth,” Holl told the council.

Discussed a pending lawsuit that deals with a homeowner who put on siding on his home that was not allowed under the city ordinances.

Discussed the work being done on the 2021 budget and the fact that some items in the 2020 budget are over the amounts budgets. Also discussed possible street projects for next year.