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And the award goes to…City of Wells

By Staff | Oct 18, 2020

Who are these masked men? Participating in the award presentation at last Monday’s Wells City Council meeting were, left to right; city administrator CJ Holl (holding the award check for $1,000), mayor David Braun and League of Minnesota Cities deputy director Luke Fischer (both holding the award), and Ron Hartman, chairman of the Wells Utilities Commission. The award was for an LED light conversion project in the city.

The Wells City Council had a special guest at their meeting last Monday night, and he brought along a couple of gifts.

Luke Fischer, the deputy director of the League of Minnesota Cities (LMC), was at the meeting to present a special award to the city of Wells.

“This award recognizes your work with your LED light conversion project,” Fischer told the council. “It was chosen as the best project for cities under 5,000 population. It was chosen for being financially prudent as well as energy saving.”

Fischer also had a check for $1,000 from the LMC as part of the award presentation.

“In a normal year we would be making this presentation of the award in a St. Paul Convention Center banquet hall, and we would be showing a cool video of Wells and the LED light conversion project,” Fischer said. “But this year, because of COVID-19, you just get me here making the presentation and I admit that is a little anti-climatic.”

But, he said, it still was important to realize this is a big achievement for the city. LMC has 835 member cities and 75 percent of those are under 5,000 population, he explained.

Fischer also went through some of the many programs the LMC is involved in on behalf of cities like Wells.

Those range from training new city officials (now done remotely), insurance for cities through the LMC, lobbying at the state capitol, advising on CARES Act funding, social unrest issues and Workers Comp concerns.

“We are also working on the LGA (local government aid) issue and keeping it in place, as well as working on promoting the bonding bill at the legislature,” Fischer said. “If you have questions on any issues, we are here for you.”

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

Went into closed session to discuss an offer or counteroffer on property known as Outlot B.

When the council reconvened in open session, mayor David Braun said the council had taken no action and would have the matter added to the next City Council agenda for Oct. 26.

During a report from the city administrator, CJ Holl advised the council there had been 13 businesses applying for the Business Interruption Grants, and the time for applications was being extended.

“We want to use up as much of this funding as we can,” Holl said. “We want to get it out to our local businesses.”

Holl also said the Flame Theatre may not be opening until next May.

However, after some discussion, Holl will check into the theater having Christmas movies during school break and on Saturdays in November and December.

During a report from city engineer Travis Winter of Bolton and Menk, survey work for next year’s street project would be starting soon.

“We want to present the plans and specs to the council at the Nov. 9 meeting,” Winter said. “And then we would hold the public improvement hearing on the project on Dec. 14, and the council could then order the improvement to be made.”

Approved the hiring of Brad Heggen as a part-time snow removal operator at a rate of $16 per hour. They also agreed to allow advertising for an additional part-time snow removal person.

Under the Wells Liquor Depot monthly sales comparison report, the council learned sales are up $311,315 over last year’s 12 month total of $826,096, with still three months sales to go for this year.

Sales for the nine months of 2020 are approaching $1 million at $930,205.