David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
WILLMAR -- Jim Mulder acknowledges he's not a politician. But the Renville native is hoping Minnesota voters will elect him as lieutenant governor and running mate Tom Horner as governor in this fall's general election. Horner, the Independence Party-endorsed candidate for governor, announced on Tuesday his selection of Mulder as his choice for lieutenant governor. "We think we have a great chance this fall,'' Mulder said in an interview Thursday in Willmar. "We think the public is ready to test drive a couple of independent men who have never been elected. We're not politicians.
WILLMAR -- Willmar voters will have a choice of two candidates for the four-year office of mayor in the Nov. 2 general election. They are incumbent Mayor Les Heitke and challenger Frank Yanish. Both candidates filed affidavits of candidacy by Tuesday's 5 p.m. deadline. The last contested mayor's race occurred in 1990 when retired city clerk Richard Hogland defeated Mayor F.J. "Ole'' Reynolds. Council members also serve four-year terms.
WILLMAR -- If you've driven on one of Willmar's main streets recently, your vehicle was likely counted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. MnDOT is required by the federal government to conduct traffic counts every two years on trunk highways, such as U.S. Highway 12, and every four years on state-aid city streets and state-aid county roads. This year is Willmar's year to be counted.
WILLMAR -- Frost boils -- mounds of gravel and broken pavement -- are bubbling up again through Willmar streets. The boils occur when freezing and thawing conditions cause the soil to move and destroy the driving surface. The Public Works Department counted 28 frost boils this year. The sites are marked with flags or cones to warn motorists until the sites are patched. The department has been making repairs since May 20 after hot-mix asphalt plants in the area resumed operations.
WILLMAR -- Frank Yanish has filed for the office of mayor of Willmar in the November general election. Yanish will face incumbent Mayor Les Heitke who has filed for re-election. The term of the office of mayor and city council member is four years. Yanish grew up in Annandale and worked as a sales representative in the food industry for 25 years. For the past 19 years, he and his wife, Lorna, have been owners and operators of Central Tire and Auto of Willmar. Yanish served six years on the Willmar Planning Commission and served three years as commission chairperson.
WILLMAR -- The indirect owner and holding company of En-Tel Communications LLC in Willmar will change to Windstream Corporation, but Willmar residents who receive cable services from En-Tel will see no change in service or rates, Willmar city officials have been told. Iowa Telecommunications Systems, the indirect owner and holding company of En-Tel, has entered into an agreement and merger plan dated Nov. 23, 2009, with Windstream Corporation. Windstream will become the indirect owner and ultimate holding company of En-Tel.
WILLMAR -- A weather-related disease is causing ash trees to lose their leaves in Willmar and in other cities in the region. Anthracnose, a common type of fungal spot on ash trees, is caused by the fungus Discula and survives winter on infected plant tissue. During the spring and summer when the weather is cool and wet, spores are produced on infected tissue. These spores are spread by wind and splashing rain to buds, shoots and expanding leaves where new infections occur, according to the Minnesota Extension Service. Leaf spots are irregular in shape and usually appear brownish in color.
WILLMAR -- The old wastewater treatment plant site may be used for future storm water management after the new treatment plant begins operation, under action taken by the Willmar City Council. The council this week revised the contract with Donohue and Associates to redesign the plan for decommissioning the old plant. The revised plan would allow for future storm water improvements at the old site. Donohue, the consultant overseeing the new wastewater treatment project, will redesign and revise the plan at a cost not to exceed $87,275. The new plant, located west of the city, will replace
WILLMAR -- Leaking windows will be replaced and other improvements at the nearly four-year-old airport terminal will be made at no cost to the city under a memorandum of understanding approved by the Willmar City Council Monday night. The memorandum spells out the responsibilities of airport consultant HNTB Corporation, architect Bonestroo Inc., and contractor Everstrong Construction. After the terminal was built in September 2006, water was found leaking into the building at numerous locations during heavy rainfall.
WILLMAR -- Nearly 100 people from the Hispanic population and a few Anglo supporters sat and stood elbow to elbow in the Municipal Utilities meeting room Monday night as more than 30 speakers expressed their opposition to the possibility of Willmar participating in a federal immigration enforcement training program. Speakers told the City Council the training was not necessary because the police department already works with U.S.