A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
- Member for
- 2 years 7 months
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Department of Human Services is pulling plan B out of its pocket for developing a 16-bed psychiatric hospital somewhere in the 18-county area of southwest Minnesota. The action is needed following a decision this week by Rice Memorial Hospital not to participate in a partnership with the state to operate a facility in Willmar. The hospital's board and administration, which had been discussing the proposal for almost two years, cited the financial cost of remodeling a building for the hospital, the financial risk of operating the program and problems with recruiting p
ATWATER -- An orderly annexation plan between the city of Atwater and Gennessee Township is being developed, with the potential to bring 100 acres of township land into the city limits. The action was started when Alan Latham, from Spicer Homes Inc., requested that 16 acres of land he owns be annexed into the city for residential development. On Tuesday the township and city officials met to discuss options for annexing Latham's property, as well as other land on the south side of Atwater. On Wednesday, during the Atwater City Council meeting, more details of the proposed plan were ironed o
WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County could lose $718,000 in federal funding next year for child welfare, mental health programs and services for developmentally disabled and vulnerable adults. The cuts could mean raising local taxes to make up the difference. The potential for coming cuts has been known since the federal Deficit Reduction Act was signed this year to cut $99 billion from Medicaid spending from 2006 to 2015. But what hasn't been known is exactly which targeted case programs, if any, will be singled out by the federal government for the reductions in counties. It doesn't look like an
NEW LONDON -- An agreement between New London and Spicer to work together to develop a comprehensive regional bike plan is being coupled with a commitment from the local Department of Natural Resources to help develop a new trail and a promise from local legislators to get funding to build it. At its meeting Wednesday, the New London City Council was informed that legislation passed in the 1970s authorizes the Glacial Lakes Trail to be extended from Green Lake to Sibley State Park and eventually to Pope and Douglas County. It order to get the existing paved trail -- which starts in Willmar a
WILLMAR -- Larry Kleindl was officially appointed Tuesday as Kandiyohi County's future county administrator. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a plan to phase Kleindl into the county's top job during the next 11 months. Under the proposed plan, Kleindl will continue to hold his job as the family services director while at the same time learning the ropes for his new job from longtime Co-unty Administrator Wayne Thompson. Thompson's last day on the job will be June 30, 2007. Kleindl officially takes over July 1, although he will begin some duties now and is sc
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners awarded bids Tuesday for construction and utility projects on property Kandiyohi County owns on the Willmar Regional Treatment Center campus. The board accepted the second lowest bid of $1,057,000 from Innovative Builders of Alexandria for a new maintenance building. The lowest bid of $1,042,000 from Prestige Builders of Maple Grove was rejected because pricing information for one component wasn't provided.
WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners will get an educational review of the state's Open Meeting Law during its regular meeting today. Scott Anderson, a Minneapolis attorney with Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney who has represented the county on various issues, will provide a 45-minute workshop for the commissioners. "Everybody is going to find it quite educational," said County Administrator Wayne Thompson. Earlier this year the West Central Tribune que-stioned whe-ther the county violated the Open Meeting Law during a procedure for selecting Th-ompson's re-placement.
WILLMAR -- Minnesota's new information center and training ground for methamphetamine treatment is slowly taking shape in Willmar. Called the Minnesota Methamphetamine Resource Center, the small office is located in the Medallion building on the Willmar Regional Treatment Center campus. An executive director and administrative assistant have been hired, a training workshop is planned for September and a primary component of the program -- a Web site -- goes online for the first time today. The 2005 Legislature provided $600,000 over two years to create the center in response to the growing
WILLMAR -- After the Legislature approved funding in 2005, the Department of Human Services was "off and running," to develop a methamphetamine resource center, said Doug Seiler, regional administrator for the State Operated Services Division of the Department of Human Services. "Actually, we were off and crawling," he said with a laugh.
WILLMAR -- A local group is helping Kandiyohi County inch closer to its goal of having an economy based on ag-based, renewable resources by 2015. Wind energy, gasification, a methane digester, as well as using manure, corn stover, dried distillers grain from ethanol plants and garbage from the landfill as fuel are all on the table when it comes to shaking out an energy plan for the future. On Thursday, the Agribusiness and Renewable Energy Development Committee, which is an arm of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, heard updates on all of those fronts.