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Willmar City Council delays action on 2011 street improvements

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council delayed action on the proposed 2011 street improvement program this week because the council did not have enough members present to cast 7 affirmative votes as required by the city charter.

City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday said the charter requires 7 affirmative votes to order the improvement and only 6 members were present. But Halliday said the council could still take testimony from the public during Tuesday night's hearing that was held to consider the improvement.

Public Works Director Holly Wilson is proposing the city reconstruct areas of 10 streets totaling 1.53 miles, and overlay Seventh Street Southwest from Willmar Avenue to 19th Avenue and overlay Becker Avenue Southeast from First Street to Lakeland Drive, totaling 1.53 miles.

Wilson also proposes rehabilitating the deck of the First Street bridge, storm water improvements to alleviate street flooding at 15th Avenue Southwest near Taunton Stadium, installing a walk path connection on 22nd Street Southwest, and crack sealing and seal coating projects.

Total estimated cost is $2,686,830.

During the hearing, resident Arlen Roesner said he was concerned about speeding traffic and truck traffic on Becker Avenue. Wilson said her department will monitor the truck traffic and Police Chief David Wyffels said his department will address the speeding problem.

Craig Hanson, who lives on a portion of 11½ Avenue Southeast that's slated to be rebuilt, said a cable company truck damaged the street last year. Wilson said she would talk to the company.

Jon Devenport, who lives on First Avenue Northwest, asked that the city paint a stripe down the middle of a jog in the street to keep vehicles in their proper lanes. Wilson and City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city will look into the request.

Halliday said the improvement report will be placed on the council's next meeting agenda.

David Little
David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
(320) 235-1150
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