Weather Forecast


No cost to city for new airport terminal windows

WILLMAR -- Leaking windows will be replaced and other improvements at the nearly four-year-old airport terminal will be made at no cost to the city under a memorandum of understanding approved by the Willmar City Council Monday night.

The memorandum spells out the responsibilities of airport consultant HNTB Corporation, architect Bonestroo Inc., and contractor Everstrong Construction.

After the terminal was built in September 2006, water was found leaking into the building at numerous locations during heavy rainfall. The city and the parties met many times over the past few years to identify possible contributing factors for the leakage and possible remedies.

In an effort to stop the leaking and resolve all related issues known at this time, and to avoid the time and expense of legal action, the city and the parties reached agreement on the repairs, the memorandum states.

"It's been an ongoing project for almost three years,'' said City Administrator Michael Schmit. He said a couple of different fixes were tried over the years but nothing seemed to work. The latest meetings resulted in the agreement.

Schmit said Bonestroo has designed an entirely new replacement window, including the wall and a portion of the foundation to support it. He said all windows in the terminal will be replaced.

Under the agreement, HNTB, Bonestroo and Everstrong will be responsible for retrofitting all the windows, rebuilding the walls under the windows, and regrading around the exterior of the building. The city will realign the downspouts and the rain gutters.

Once these improvements are done satisfactorily, the city will release funds held to HNTB. City Attorney Rich Ronning is reviewing the agreement and will be addressing the issue of remedies should water leakage recur.

Once all parties sign the agreement, the work will move forward, said Schmit. He said the city will pay nothing toward the cost, estimated at $85,000 to $90,000. Schmit hopes the work will begin in June.

Schmit said the improvements are substantial, "and I'm hopeful that this will once and for all correct the water leakage problem that we've been having out there since the building was constructed.''

The Finance Committee had recommended the council approve the memorandum.

In other business, the council:

- Voted to re-appropriate unspent funds from the Leisure Services' 2009 concession stand project to construct a ticket booth at Taunton Stadium, estimated at $7,500.

- Approved plans and specifications and voted to open bids on June 15 for construction of a recreation path along County Road 41 from County Road 24 to Eagle Ridge Drive, and along County Road 24 from County Road 41 to Country Club Drive. The paths were graded in conjunction with Kandiyohi County's reconstruction project of county roads 41 and 24 in 2009. The city will complete the paths with 6 inches of gravel and 3 inches of bituminous surfacing.

- Approved plans and specifications and voted to open bids June 15 for resurfacing two parking lots and the road connecting the parking lots at Swansson Field. The $260,000 estimated cost will be paid from revenue raised by the local option sales tax.

- Set the street improvement assessment hearing for 7:02 p.m. on June 7.

- Voted to adopt the three-phase plan for industrial park redevelopment and expansion at the old airport. The plan includes the sale of excess land, starting with the sale by auction of a 60-acre parcel south of Highway 40 and an 80-acre parcel west of County Road 55.

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