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Willmar City Council OKs Rice Memorial Hospital, MUC transfer agreements

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved extending the intergovernmental transfer payment agreements with Rice Memorial Hospital and the Municipal Utilities, each for another three-year term through 2012.

Rice pays the city an amount equal to .40 percent of 1 percent of prior year net assets for the following year. The minimum amount of the annual payment would not be less than $200,000. The 2010 payment will be $205,664.

The utilities' payment uses a formula of 4.80 percent of the audited net worth, but not to exceed a 4 percent increase in the amount of the previous year's payment. The 2010 payment from the utilities will be $1,823,971.

The transfer payments are incorporated into the city's general revenue budget.

In other business Monday night, the council:

- Approved a fire protection contract with Willmar Township in the amount of $24,889. The contract calls for the Willmar Fire Department to respond to fire calls in the township from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011.

- Agreed to increase the city's contribution from $100 to $250 for each employee who is required to obtain and wear safety glasses as part of their employment with the city. The eyewear policy has been in effect since 1987. The contribution had not been increased since 1998. As a result of discussions with employee bargaining groups, it was agreed to reevaluate the employer contribution. The policy affects from one to two employees a year, according to officials.

- Voted to accept a $291,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to be applied toward the $86.2 million cost of the wastewater treatment project.

- Voted to reject two bids opened Feb. 22 for upgrading 51 self-contained fire department breathing apparatus units and to seek new bids. The department says the upgraded units will comply with new standards for operating in hazardous environments. Metro Fire of Ham Lake bid $137,275 and Mine Safety Appliances Company bid $330,422. City staff recommended the bids be rejected because the Metro bid was found to contain an error and the second bid came in over budget. A $131,688 Federal Emergency Management Act grant will pay for the upgrades.

- Authorized Summit Envirosolutions of St. Paul to install a water monitoring well in the southern end of Vos Park. The well was requested by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The well will monitor the underground movement of petroleum product that was released on Nov. 16, 2006, at the former Food-N-Fuel store, 30th Street and First Avenue Northwest.

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