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Finance committee approves payment agreements with Rice Memorial Hospital

WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council renew the annual intergovernmental transfer payment agreement with Rice Memorial Hospital.

Under a formula established in 2007, Rice pays the city an amount equal to .40 percent of prior year net assets, but at no time will the payment to the city be less than $200,000. The 2010 payment will be $205,664, according to information presented to the committee on Monday.

The Municipal Utilities also makes an annual intergovernmental payment to the city. The committee was told that the Utilities Commission on Monday approved a three-year agreement with the city for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012. The utilities' payment shall be 4.80 percent of audited net worth, but will not 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 and will account for 8 percent of all city revenue, according to the city's 2010 budget.

In other business, the committee:

- Approved a fire protection contract with Willmar Township in the amount of $24,889. The agreement 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, said City Administrator Michael Schmit. The policy affects from one to two employees a year, said Schmit.

? 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. Schmit said the city continues to work on obtaining a $15 million EPA grant that Congress has authorized but not appropriated.

The committee's recommendations will be considered by the council on March 15.

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