Weather Forecast


Willmar City Council committee proposes Mound firm prepare Becker Avenue design

WILLMAR -- The landscape architectural firm of Hoisington Koegler Group of Mound is being recommended to prepare schematic drawings and cost estimates for the proposed downtown Becker Avenue streetscape project.

Hoisington was selected from four firms interviewed May 1 by a committee representing city and downtown interests.

The project on Becker Avenue from First Street to Sixth Street Southwest envisions a streetscape that will allow for traffic but also will incorporate trees, landscaping and public plazas for pedestrians and for outdoor activities such as the Becker Market. It will extend the Glacial Lakes State Trail into central downtown as well.

It's part of the process of creating a downtown commons where people can gather. The project is one of the long-term goals of the Willmar Design Center.

A contract between Hoisington and the city was presented Tuesday evening to the Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee. Odens recommended the city enter into the contract with Hoisington because the project is envisioned on city-owned property.

Odens also recommended the committee adopt a budget of $25,000 to cover Hoisington's design work, which is expected to be completed by October.

Odens said the Design Center is raising money to pay the contract. City Administrator Michael Schmit said a notice to proceed with the design work will not be issued to Hoisington until the Design Center raises the entire $25,000.

The committee voted to recommend the full council approve the contract and the budget at the upcoming Monday night meeting.

Odens said the committee that interviewed the four consultants felt Hoisington most closely met the needs and meshed with the project's ideas.

Committee member Jim Dokken said he was impressed with the detail listed in the written summary of the selection process.

In other business, the committee recommended the council approve a request by Fire Chief Marv Calvin to apply for approximately $2 million in federal stimulus funds to build a fire department substation in the northeast part of the city.

Calvin said the northeast part of town has seen expansion for the past number of years. He said City Council minutes indicate a north side substation has been discussed since 1980.

Calvin said the department will apply for a 2009 Assistance to Firefighters Fire Station Construction Grant project through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant requires no city contribution, he said.

In other business, the committee:

- Recommended ap-proval of an on-sale liquor license for The Oaks at Eagle Creek of Willmar, which is a state licensed caterer, to sell beer during the Willmar Fests softball tournament June 27-28 at South Swansson Park. Sales will be monitored by the Willmar Police Department at all times. Committee members asked that sale hours be clarified.

- Recommended ap-proval of a temporary on-sale liquor license for Green Mill/Holiday Inn of Willmar to sell beer from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. during the Willmar Fest downtown block party June 25.

- Recommended the council accept a $2,000 donation to the Willmar Police Department from the Kandiyohi County Attorney's forfeiture fund. The money will be used to buy bullet-resistant vests.

- Recommended the fire department be allowed to conduct a training burn at a house located at 802 Second St. S.E.