A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
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WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi Area Transit is one of 700 organizations that now support a proposed constitutional amendment to dedicate motor vehicle sales tax revenue for transportation purposes. The KAT joint powers board approved a resolution Friday supporting the measure. Supporting the amendment "only makes sense," said Kandiyohi County Commissioner and KAT board member Dean Shuck. Voters will have the final say.
WILLMAR -- An expansion at the Kandiyohi County jail could mean up to 300 additional state prisoners being housed here. It could also mean additional jobs for jailers and chemical dependency counselors who would treat the inmates. Such an expansion could be possible as a result of legislation approved by the House and Senate. The legislation is expected to be signed by Gov.
WILLMAR -- The final cost of a proposed sanitary sewer project around Lake Florida is being put through the grinder -- literally. The Kandiyohi County Commissioners heard presentations Friday about the technical differences between two different brands of sewage grinder pumps that will be installed at homes around Lake Florida as part of the $4.9 million project. The county will be purchasing the pumps, but the cost will be passed directly to the 185 homeowners around the lake. A $1,300 price difference between the two pumps is making the decision challenging for the county commissioners.
WILLMAR - A District judge has ruled that the Kandiyohi Area Transit cannot recover the $100,000 it paid as a death benefit when a volunteer driver was killed in 2004. An appeal is being considered. KAT, which has insurance coverage through the League of Minnesota Cities, had sought reimbursement of the $100,000 from Dorene Ruth Miller. Miller was the driver involved in a head-on accident that killed Paul Lane Dunstan on July 22, 2004.
WILLMAR -- The 9 a.m. worship service this Sunday in the cozy St. Alphonse Chapel on the campus of the Willmar Regional Treatment Center campus won't be easy for the Rev.
Whether you call it perseverance or stubbornness, Sen. Gary Kubly said it's the characteristic he needed to finally get a bill passed that now makes it illegal for the clock-hour meters on tractors to be tampered with or disconnected. The bill was signed this week by Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, said he worked on the bill "the seven of the 10 years I've been here" and was glad it made the final hurdle this year. Farm tractors and equipment such as self-propelled combines and swathers have meters to clock the hours operated.
WILLMAR -- Preliminary plans to develop a 16-bed psychiatric hospital in Willmar could include construction of a new building instead of renovating an existing structure on the Willmar Regional Treatment Center campus. Rice Memorial Hospital is still considering whether or not to participate with the state on constructing the building and operating the program, said Lorry Massa, Rice CEO.
WILLMAR -- The implications of how a Supreme Court decision will affect Kandiyohi County's procedure for environmental review was discussed at length during the county board meeting Tuesday. The result will mean holding new public hearings for two specific gravel pits.
WILLMAR -- The rising cost of oil and asphalt could mean some road projects will be delayed. The other option is to move ahead with projects and use reserves in the Kandiyohi County road and bridge reserve fund to pay for projects. Gary Danielson told the Kandiyohi County Commissioners on Tuesday that the prices for asphalt have risen significantly and may not decrease. When the estimates for the 2006 projects were done in 2005, a ton of asphalt cost $25. In March it increased to $35 a ton and in May the price is $44 per ton for rural roads and $50 a ton for urban projects.
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday rejected Kandiyohi County's environmental review process for two proposed gravel pits near Eagle Lake and Long Lake. The high court's ruling said Kandiyohi County's 2003 conclusion that the gravel pits would not have a cumulative impact on the environment was "arbitrary and capricious" and was based primarily on statements by the developer, Duininck Bros. Construction of Prinsburg, and not based on evidence.