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City officials give the OK to revised plan used as guide for policies

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has adopted the revised comprehensive plan.

The plan was last revised in 1989. Work on the plan during the past couple of years by the Planning Commission, city staff and the Mid-Minnesota Development Commission is complete, according to Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services.

Cities are allowed by statute to plan and have a plan. He said a public meeting was held to receive comments on the draft document. Those changes have been made and the Planning Commission recommended the council adopt the plan.

The plan was written using a 20-year time frame and will be used until it is either revised or replaced. The plan provides a guide for growth and development, and establishes goals, objectives and policy guidelines.

"We think that our plan will serve the community well for a number of years,'' Peterson said.

The plan is available for viewing on the city's Web site:

In other business, the council:

- Held the annual meeting on the storm water permit and the pollution prevent program. Assistant City Engineer Holly Wilson said the purpose of the program is to raise awareness of the importance of good storm water management, to remind everyone of that importance, to report the status of what the city has done in 2008 and what the city plans to do for 2009, and to gather public comment. The program is part of the city's municipal separate storm water sewer system permit.

- Approved the request of Rice Hospital Board to seek court approval to reclassify the Rice Trust from a private foundation to a supporting organization. The trust was established decades ago to pay for hospital charity care. The reclassification will help the trust conserve its value, according to Rice officials.

- Accepted a $1,000 donation from the Willmar Jaycees to pay for a new drain cover for the Rice Park pool.

- Approved the contract with Hoisington Koegler Group Inc. of Mound to prepare schematic designs for the Design Center's proposed Becker Avenue streetscape and public plaza project from First Street to Sixth Street Southwest. City Administrator Michael Schmit said no notice to proceed will be issued until the Design Center turns over to the city the $25,000 needed to pay Hoisington.