Harder Named New City Finance Director At Wayne City Council Meeting

WAYNE – The Wayne city council met for their first October meeting Tuesday night at City Hall. There, they appointed a new city finance director, approved an application for a liquor license and discussed the purchase of a new sign for the Wayne Community Activity Center.

Michelle Harder will replace long-time city finance director, Nancy Braden when she retires. The council quickly approved Harder for the position and city administrator Wes Blecke gave Harder his seal of approval.

“She stood out in interviews and she has a wealth of knowledge in the accounting world especially, but I think she’ll do a great job working with developers and working on projects and things like that with the city,” Blecke said.

After Harder’s approval, Lee Larsen, Pat Jenkins-Rohde and Alice Johnson presented the city with a facsimile check for $81,544.92. The check represents the cost off-set by 3,378 hours of volunteer work put in by the Wayne Area Retired School Personnel group.

Udder Delights was approved for a liquor license by the council. The business will add alcohol-infused ice-cream treats to their menu and offer off-sale purchases of alcohol. Jerrae and David Braun told the council they weren’t interested in turning their business into a bar or liquor store, but wanted to expand the menu. There were some minor concerns discussed, such as making sure that any menu item that contains alcohol will be consumed on the premises, but the council was happy with the Brauns’ answers.

“I think going into it, not knowing what the off-sale part was going to be, I think they (the council) had some questions on that, but I think Jerrae did a great job of answering questions,” Blecke said.

After some deliberation, the city council tabled acceptance of a bid for a new LED message center sign for the Wayne Community Activity Center. The council will hear discussion at the next meeting after director Bryce Meyer can gather more information about the various bids. Also tabled was approval to use city bricks and gravel for memorial park benches at the library. The council decided to table the item because the project is part of Nolan Kruse’s Eagle Scout project and the council wanted to hear from Kruse first.

Amendments were made to the city code regarding airport authority vacancies and to the power purchase agreement between the city of Wayne and the Cottonwood Wind Project, LLC. The amendments were made to match state statutes and to clarifies a small change that doesn’t affect the city, respectively. A payment of $19,444.37 was approved for the West Inner and East Inner Conversion Electric Distribution Project to Karian Peterson Powerline Contracting, LLC.

The next Wayne city council meeting will be held Tuesday, October 17th at 5:30 p.m.

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