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Wells spends the last of its CARES funds

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Nov 15, 2020

The Wells City Council took care of allocating their remaining Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act funds during action at their meeting last Monday night.

The city of Wells had been allocated $168,988 in CARES Act funding, and had dispersed all but $27,369.66, which they designated on Monday night.

The council made the following allocations: $6,625 for electrostatic sprayers for different departments in the city; $923.95 for a water bottle filling station at the library; $223.61 for additional PPE (personal protection equipment) for the library; $2,899.35 for five Wi-Fi hot spots for the library; $5,000 to Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) for funding the Community Workforce Co-ordinator; and $11,697.75 for First Responders salary/payroll.

City administrator CJ Holl said there still would be one more report needed to be done by Nov. 24 which would adjust the actual amounts used for each of the dispersements.

In other business at the meeting, the council:

• Had a lengthy discussion concerning a feasibility report for the proposed improvements to North Broadway, First Avenue NE, Fifth Street NW, Fourth Street NE and Third Avenue SW next summer.

The council did pass a resolution accepting the report and having a public hearing on the project on Dec. 14 in the council chambers at City Hall at 5 p.m.

Holl said the acceptance of the feasibility report does not mean the acceptance of the project itself. That will come later.

The estimated total cost of the improvements is $2,847,008.

• Voted to list the parcel of land near Half Moon Park known as Outlet B with a realtor, and the council agreed to go with Brad Heggen Realty.

The asking price was set at $12,500, but Holl did point out that a buyer would have to subdivide the property for development and have the property surveyed, attain a conditional use permit and provide a plat for any subdivision.

• Heard an update from city attorney David Frundt concerning the proposed Cardel Subdivision just to the west of the city.

The preliminary/final plat was deemed incomplete after being reviewed by Bolton and Menk and the developers were asked to get a better application and map prepared.

• Heard a good report from both the Wells Liquor Depot and the city’s motor vehicle registration office.

The liquor store reported going over the one million dollar mark for sales for the year as of October, with two months to go.

Total sales were $1,022,887, which is $340,161 more than all of last year.

The motor vehicle department noted a total of $155,114 in total fees for motor vehicles, drivers licenses and DNR licenses in October.

Holl said the high amount is due to an increase in customers from Freeborn County, as the office in Albert Lea has been operating by appointment only.

• Heard an update from administrator Holl concerning the possible broadcast of the council meetings over a new public access channel being developed by Bevcomm.

• Certified a list of unpaid charges of local residents which will be sent to the county to be put on the property owners’ taxes.

• Accepted a COVID-19 plan from the Five Sisters Project for a Christmas tree display fundraiser to be held on Dec. 3-5.

The plan contains details on how they plan to follow COVID-19 safety requirements.

• Approved the hiring of part time police officer Tiffany Cummings at $18.53 per hour.