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Wells project is a go

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | May 16, 2021

The Wells City Council accepted a bid for the summer underground utility and street construction project that will affect parts of North Broadway, First Avenue NE, Fifth Street NW, Fourth Street NE and Third Avenue SW.

And, they got some good news when it came to the bids.

“We received eight bids, which is really good,” reported city engineer Travis Winter. “The low bid was submitted by Wencl Construction Inc., of Owatonna.”

The total bid from Wencl Construction for all three sections of the project came to $2,530,215, which Winter pointed out was $203,835 under the engineer’s estimate. He added that the low bid was partly due to the fact that some of the work could be done in the 2022 construction season.

The council voted to award the bid which meant proceeding with the project, with councilperson Brenda Weber voting no.

After the construction bid was approved, the council next heard from Jessica Green of Northland Securities concerning how to fund the project.

The city will be selling a general obligation bond in the amount of $3.6 million, Green said.

The bond will finance the street project and also do a refunding of two other bonds which will result in savings to the city.

Refunding a 2011A bond will result in an estimated $34,411 in savings and refunding a 2012A bond will result in an estimated $11,175 in savings.

The new bond payments are financed by assessments to affected project landowners in the amount of $445,000, local utility funds and a debt service levy of $67,500 per year.

In other business at the Monday, May 10, meeting, the council:

• Accepted a donation of $25,000 from the Shirley M. Bartholomew Foundation which will be used by the American Legion as well as by the city for doors at the Community Center, golf course improvements and welcome sign updating.

• After discussion, decided to table a matter of doing reseeding of the boulevard along Sixth Street until this fall.

• Set a date of June 14 (next regular council meeting) for a public hearing concerning a cartway requested by Mike and Cindy Weber.

• Looked at a list of tax-forfeited properties, both residential and commercial, in the city of Wells. The council decided to have the Economic Development Authority and Housing Redevelopment Authority discuss the list at their meetings and give a recommendation to the council as to possible purchases of the properties.

• Approved a request by Hope Church to hold a church event at Half Moon Park which could involve up to 150 people.

• Approved the hiring of two new employees at the Wells Depot Liquor store. They are John Melby and Morgan Pyzik.

• Went into closed session to discuss a complaint against police officer Steve Seipp. No action was taken at this time by the council, when they came back into open session.

• Approved a new Social Media Policy and an updated Computer Use Policy for employees of the city.