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Steve Salzer elected president of Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission

WILLMAR — The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has elected Steve Salzer to serve as commission president for 2013.

Salzer and other officers were elected Monday during the commission’s first meeting of 2013.

Salzer takes over the position held last year by Dave Baker.

Baker had completed his second three-year term on the commission and was eligible under city charter rules to serve a third three-year term, but he was not reappointed by Mayor Frank Yanish.

Salzer said in a brief interview after the meeting that he was excited to be president for the coming year. Salzer said he kind of expected to step up to the president’s post after serving as vice president last year.

Salzer, general manager of MinnWest Technology Campus of Willmar, said now is an opportune time for him because he doesn’t have any major projects happening at the campus this year.

Salzer is optimistic about utility operations under Wesley Hompe, who had served as interim co-manager since mid-December 2011 and was appointed general manager in late August 2012.

“I think with Wes doing the great job he has been, I really see this coming year to be hopefully a smooth transition, looking at some of the future capital things,’’ he said. “But I think we’re in good hands with Wes and I expect it to be a pretty smooth year.’’

Other officers elected for 2013 were Matt Schrupp, vice president; and Jerry Gesch, secretary, replacing Schrupp who served as secretary in 2012. The commissioners re-elected Dan Holtz treasurer.

Also Monday, Salzer welcomed Joe Gimse, whose appointment by Yanish to the seven-member commission was confirmed by the City Council last week. Gimse’s appointment fills the seat that had been held by Baker.

Gimse thanked Yanish for the appointment and thanked the council for confirming the appointment.

“I’m looking forward to the next three years serving on this commission,’’ Gimse said.

Gimse said he knows a number of commissioners who had met with him in past years when Gimse served as a state senator from Willmar. Gimse said he really appreciated the input he received from commissioners at that time “and look forward to continuing that dialogue and participating on this commission.’’

Other commission members are Carol Laumer and Jeffrey Nagel.

In other organizational matters, Salzer appointed himself, Laumer and Schrupp to the Labor Committee and appointed Gesch, Holtz and Nagel to the Planning Committee. Salzer appointed Gimse to serve as an alternate to both committees in the absence of a committee member.

In other business, the commission:

- Approved the schedule of 24 regular meetings for 2013; 21 meetings will be held on the second and fourth Monday of every month and three meetings will be held on Tuesday due to conflicts with national holidays. All meetings begin at 11:45 a.m. in the auditorium of the Municipal Utilities Building.

- Approved the 2013 beginning year fund balances. Each year, the commission must set the restricted fund and account balances for various utility purposes.

- Approved minor grammatical changes in the utility’s investment policy. Also changed was the reference of the delegation of authority to manage the investment program from accounting supervisor to director of finance.

The policy directs the utility to invest public funds in a manner that provides the highest investment return with maximum security while meeting the utility’s daily cash flow demands and conforming to state and local statutes governing investment of public funds.

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