A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 1 year 10 months
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners got a primer Tuesday on bridge inspections. During a tour of county road construction projects that are under way, completed or need to be done in the future, the commissioners spent some time under a New London timber-frame bridge, learning about the checklist of safety items bridges are required to pass to be safe.
WILLMAR -- A four-lane stretch of road that will provide a straight shot across the old Willmar airport and create a faster link between the north and south sides of Willmar is shaping up quickly. Much of the 10-acre storm water retention pond is completed, new 12-inch water mains are being installed and the basic roadbed has been laid down. The utilities will service Willmar's new industrial park that the road will bisect. The nearly mile-long project began this summer and should be completed by next year.
WILLMAR -- For 40 years the Minnesota Poultry Testing Laboratory in Willmar has been quietly monitoring the state's turkeys, chickens and commercially raised upland game birds for diseases that could, if left unchecked, seriously impact the poultry industry and possibly contribute to a worldwide influenza pandemic. Dr. Dale Lauer, veterinarian and director of the lab, suspects not many residents realize the heavy responsibility that is handled every day at the lab. "This lab is our first line of defense for an influenza outbreak," Lauer said.
WILLMAR -- Information, education and preparation are key words as business owners, employees and customers get ready for the state's new indoor smoking regulations to be implemented next month. Minnesota's Freedom to Breathe Act takes effect Oct.
WILLMAR -- In some rural Minnesota communities, the only business in town may be a bar that also sells milk, bread and peanut butter so that residents don't have to drive 20 miles to buy a few groceries. It's businesses and communities like those that Rep. Bud Heidgerken, R-Freeport, is afraid may lose out Oct.
WILLMAR -- A parking lot that should have lasted at least until 2020 is being rebuilt at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building. The $250,000 project began on Tuesday. It's expected to be completed by Friday. The parking lot was part of the 1995 construction of the county building.
ATWATER -- After doing some budget-cutting at its meeting Wednesday, the Atwater City Council gave preliminary approval to a proposed $321,874 tax levy for 2008, which is a 2.8 percent increase from 2007. The levy is less than the $347,692 that was initially proposed at the start of the meeting. Councilman Dale Tagtow said he wanted to reduce the levy so that the city would not be required to hold a Truth-in-Taxation hearing -- a public hearing at which citizens can voice their opinion about tax increases, levies, budgets, etc.
WILLMAR -- A special legislative session could be held in the next couple weeks, according to area legislators. Or it could not. "We are preparing for a special session," said Rep. Al Juhnke, DFL-Willmar. "There's no question we need a special session ... and it should be done as soon as feasibly possible." Action is needed, said legislators, to deal with emergency funding for flood-stricken communities in southeast Minnesota and to address transportation funding problems, including the collapse of the I-35W bridge. The decision on whether or not to call a special session lies with Gov.
WILLMAR -- A two-year plan that will help Kandiyohi County keep children safe and bring economic stability to residents who are poor is open for public review until Sept.
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.