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Wells busy with building projects

Many housing developments underway in and around the city

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Mar 14, 2021

The city of Wells has many new proposed housing development projects in the works. As many as four or five new developments are being studied and considered by the Wells City Council at this time.

Not many small town City Councils can say they have their hands full with multiple proposed housing development projects.

However, the Wells City Council is trying to work on not one or two, but four or five new developments.

“It is very unusual to have this many all at one time,” city administrator CJ Holl said. “Usually most of the land in a small town is already all divided up.”

At their meeting last Monday the council received updates on the progress of the various housing developments in, and just outside of, the city of Wells.

Holl reported that the city received the plats, application and fee payment for the so-called ‘Tin Shed’ property. It is property near Half Moon Park and is being purchased for development by Chris and Tammy Brandt.

“It needs to be subdivided out of the rest of the former school property owned by the city’s Housing and Redevelopment Authority (HRA),” Holl explained after the meeting. “It is in the beginning part of the subdivision process.”

Another housing development is the Embacher Addition, north of Fifth Avenue NE. It was one large lot and is being split into two lots. The process for this subdivision is nearing completion.

Another one called the Maple River Subdivision is the former Randy Weber property located near the school. It will come before the City Council for approval at the March 22 council meeting and Planning and Zoning has recommended it move forward.

The Cardel Subdivision is actually planned for land to the west of the city, but Holl explained that anything planned for within two miles of the city needs to have city approval, since city streets and utilities could be involved.

The plat is being resubmitted as well as a development agreement.

The final subdivision is already platted and ready to go. The City Center Subdivision is where the former United South Central School was located, and is owned by the HRA.

City attorney David Frundt reported at the meeting on Monday night that he has been finalizing the purchase agreement between the HRA and a buyer of two of the lots, Jerry and Marilyn Dulas, as well as a development agreement between the HRA and the couple.

It is expected to be executed shortly and construction could start as soon as next week on a townhome.

“The HRA is also going to be building a townhome there, as well,” Holl said. “The same company, Wilcon of Mankato, is doing the actual construction of both projects.”

In other business at Monday’s meeting, the Wells City Council:

• Learned the North Broadway Project open house is now scheduled for March 18, from 5-6 p.m. at the Wells Community Center.

Bolton and Menk engineers are finishing the plans and specs during March with the bidding process to start in April.

• Heard that plans are in place for a free movie night at the Flame Theatre with a film to be shown on March 20. There will be limited seating and concessions and reservations are going to be required.

• Approved the hiring of Kristine Beyer as a liquor store clerk.

• Learned Bevcomm is going to bring in fiber optic cable to 100 homes on the east side of Wells this summer.

• Discussed the roof collapse at Jake’s Pizza and administrator Holl said he had informed the owner that the city and the EDA would do whatever they could to assist the business if needed.

• Briefly discussed several items including guidelines for renting out the Community Center, renewing leases for advertising signs at the golf course, Third Street repair work and a Wells Liquor Depot operational and financial plan for 2021.