A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
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WILLMAR -- The long trail of paperwork to get the new psychiatric hospital built in Willmar got significantly shorter this week. After months of legal wrangling to secure a lease with the Minnesota Department of Human Services and time spent to renegotiate a loan to finance construction of the 16-bed hospital, both issues were approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. "It's an exciting day," said County Administrator Larry Kleindl. While the drawn-out process to finalize the state lease was frustrating, Kleindl said a delay in securing a loan with Wells Fargo Bank LLC
WILLMAR -- A preliminary 2008 budget of $55.7 million was approved Tuesday by the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. The proposed net tax levy is $23,777,371. The final budget won't be approved until December.
WILLMAR -- Implementing a tax on aggregate mined in Kandiyohi County could generate between $48,000 and $72,000 a year in revenue that could be used, in part, to repair county, township and city roads. The figures were based on data provided voluntarily by local contractors on the amount of gravel mined from 2000 to 2006. During a hearing Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Commissioners had a brief discussion about the pros and cons of a gravel tax but will not vote until Oct.
Chad Revier of New London may not be Linus from the Peanuts cartoon, who believed that the Great Pumpkin would "arise out of the most sincere Pumpkin Patch on Halloween night and deliver toys to all the true believing children," but Revier does have a really big pumpkin that did arise from a well-fertilized pumpkin patch.
WILLMAR -- A two-day work session that had the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners going over the proposed $55 million budget line by line was interrupted briefly Wednesday afternoon when a small child apparently pulled a fire alarm. The commissioners were closing in on the 2008 budget when the piercing alarm sounded throughout the building and employees started filing out of offices. Anticipating that it was likely a false alarm, the commissioners were ready to shrug it off and keep working.
WILLMAR -- A plan to replace nine bridges in Kandiyohi County during the next three years was approved Tuesday by the County Board of Commissioners. Depending on the availability of state funding, the replacement could be accelerated and completed within two years, said Gary Danielson, Kandiyohi County public works director.
WILLMAR -- The roof is leaky, the insulation is wet and ceiling tiles are falling down in the building where the Kandiyohi County rescue squad stores its equipment and its crews are trained. On top of that, the foundation is cracked, the wiring is poor and water pipes freeze in the winter. The building, located on the east side of Willmar off U.S.
WILLMAR -- As inspections on state bridges have been taking place this week in response to a new state mandate, Kandiyohi County officials are inspecting county and township bridges and finalizing a list of bridges that need to be replaced. There are nine bridges so far on the priority list, said Ray Krossman, assistant engineer with the Kandiyohi County Highway Department. There are approximately 110 bridges in the county. The list will be presented Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners during the regular meeting.
There are about 110 county and township bridges in Kandiyohi County, with at least nine that have sufficiency ratings that qualify them for replacement. At its meeting Tuesday, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will prioritize the list of bridges for future replacement. - A timber bridge located in New London Township on 153rd Avenue Northeast over the North Fork of the Crow River at the inlet to Nest Lake. - A timber bridge located in East Lake Lillian Township on County Road 2 over the South Fork of the Crow River. - A steel arch pipe located in St.
ATWATER -- Public hearings will be held Sept. 5 to discuss whether the Atwater City Council should vacate an alley and a street and turn the property over to abutting landowners. At its meeting Wednesday, the council received a petition from residents and the Atwater Elevator, asking that an alley by the elevator be vacated. That alley goes through a slough and exists, for the most part, only on paper.