WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has given the City of Kandiyohi approval to research the feasibility of connecting Kandiyohi to Willmar's wastewater treatment system.
The council Monday night approved the concept of system-sharing while encouraging Kandiyohi to continue researching the feasibility of connecting to Willmar's system.
The request to look into the possibility of connecting Kandiyohi to Willmar was made to the council's Public Works/Safety Committee on Sept. 30 by Kandiyohi Mayor Craig Aurand.
He said Kandiyohi's wastewater treatment plant is approaching its useful life and he said his city is exploring options for future treatment.
The City of Kandiyohi has also talked to the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer District about connecting to that system, he said.
Before design work began on Willmar's new wastewater treatment facility, Willmar officials contacted surrounding towns about the possibility of connecting to Willmar, but no indications of connecting to the system were expressed, according to Willmar Public Works Director Mel Odens.
Important factors to be considered, according to Odens, are cost, the philosophy of extending Willmar's treatment system territory and shortened life span of Willmar's new system by the additional flow from Kandiyohi, which is located about 3 miles east of Willmar on U.S. Highway 12.
In other business, the council voted to direct City Attorney Rich Ronning to draft an ordinance that would hold any person criminal responsible who hosts an event or gathering during which alcohol is consumed by persons less than 21 years of age.
The ordinance was proposed by Police Chief Jim Kulset and recommended by the Public Works/Safety Committee.
Kulset had presented an example of a social host ordinance from the City of Chaska to the committee at the Sept. 30 meeting. He said Kandiyohi County has a host ordinance, which is incorporated into its noisy gathering ordinance. The ordinance does not apply in Willmar, according to Kulset.
Committee Chairman Doug Reese said the committee would review the ordinance before it is sent to the council.
Council member Ron Christianson asked why the ordinance was needed. He asked if persons are already held responsible for providing alcohol to persons under age 21.
Kulset said it's very difficult to prove without getting a cooperative witness to testify against the person who provides the alcoholic beverage.
"This ordinance basically holds people who are hosting these underage drinking parties accountable, criminally,'' Kulset said.
Christianson asked if the host would be over 21 years of age.
Not necessarily, said Kulset. The person could be 20 years old, be hosting the underage drinking party and be charged by this ordinance. Also, Kulset said his department is seeing more events where the host is a 21-22-year-old college student and has 18-19-year-old college students over for a party at his house.
In his 2007 annual report, Kulset said party calls are up 38 percent, fight calls are up 27 percent and liquor violations have increased 11 percent.
"This is a problem,'' he said. "So what we're hoping to do is deter people from hosting these underage drinking parties.''