Wells offered city street if it pays for sewer line relocation 

Wednesday, March 8, 2023
The 100 block of First Street Southeast has been offered to Wells Enterprises if the company agrees to pay for a relocation of sewer and sanitary sewers beneath it. The company owns the lot on the north side of the street.
Sentinel Photo by Beverly Van Buskirk

LE MARS — Wells Enterprises asked for permission for a building project in the right-of-way of First Street Southeast — but it might get more than that.

The Le Mars City Council is prepared to offer Wells the 100 block of First Street Southeast. The city made the offer before, but the exchange did not occur — but it is back on the table.

The company is planning a renovation project at its North Ice Cream Plant, 121 Second Ave. S.E. Wells wants to install a 22-foot by 14-foot building and two silos atop existing city storm and sanitary sewers, which would entail rerouting the lines. The city has worked with Wells and Chemical Sanitizing Systems on such projects in the past.

In 2011, Wells donated 13 acres of land to the city and the property was used for the new public works building.

The company then asked to have the First Street Southeast right-of-way vacated for an ice cream plant expansion, and the council tentatively granted it. But the expansion project was not undertaken, so the request was halted.

City Administrator Jason Vacura said he has learned while the city owns the sanitary sewer, Wells owns the storm sewer.

Councilman Clark Goodchild proposed that Wells pay for the relocation of the sanitary sewer and the city vacate the street. Vacura said he discussed it with an engineer on Thursday, Feb. 16, and he had an idea on the relocation.

Goodchild said the company does projects there on a regular basis, so closing the street wouldn’t create a major problem.

“I don’t monitor it, but I can’t see that street being heavily used,” he said.

On Monday, March 6, Vacura said Wells has not responded to the offer of the street.

“We haven’t even had any discussion on that yet,” he said. “I haven’t yet.”

Wells staffers did not respond to requests for comment.

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