David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 4 years 1 week
WILLMAR -- Despite tough economic times, the city of Willmar had new construction projects valued at over $22 million in 2010. "Even though that's nowhere near the construction we have seen or would like to see, it still exceeds for communities our size state and national construction averages,'' said Bruce Peterson, director of city planning and development services. "From a construction economy standpoint, we're ahead of the nation but I think that says more about the nation than it does about Willmar,'' Peterson said.
WILLMAR -- The city will open construction bids on May 3 for rerouting the 21st Street Southwest wastewater sewer line and for decommissioning the Arby's and Ortenblad wastewater lift stations. The Willmar City Council Monday night approved plans and specifications and authorized wastewater project consultant Donohue and Associates to advertise for construction bids. The cost is estimated at $376,674. Under a timetable presented by Donohue program manager Rhonda Rae, the council will be asked on May 16 to authorize a construction contract. She said work will completed by Aug.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has voted to repeal the ordinance that lets police officers issue informal administrative citations rather than traditional criminal citations for violations of certain petty misdemeanors. Repeal of the ordinance was recommended by the council's Public Works/Safety Committee and by Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels.
WILLMAR -- The wet, heavy snow that fell Tuesday night and Wednesday morning was the most difficult to push during this winter season, said Willmar Public Works Superintendent Ron Gilbertson. "There was so much moisture in it and so much ice underneath there that we were having a hard time,'' Gilbertson said Wednesday afternoon. "It probably took us an extra two hours to plow our routes because of the snow and the ice underneath it.
WILLMAR -- City Council member Jim Dokken's request to record meetings of the committee he chairs will have to wait until the council discusses next month whether meetings of all committees should be recorded and televised. Dokken, who speaks frequently about openness and transparency in government, made a motion during Monday night's council meeting to record and televise Community Development Committee meetings on WRAC 8, the city's public access system, from April through December 2011. The committee on March 17 discussed and voted to support Dokken's request to record and televise its me
WILLMAR -- Although some people may not believe it, Willmar Municipal Utilities' two wind turbines during their second year of operation have been available for energy production 93 to 94 percent of the time compared to the national average of the mid-to-upper 80 percent range for turbines of similar size, according to Bruce Gomm, utility general manager. Gomm made the statement Monday during a status report on the turbine project to the Willmar City Council.
WILLMAR -- City Planning and Development Services Director Bruce Peterson disputes the 2010 U.S. Census preliminary population count for the city of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities will receive a 12.38 percent rate of return on its investment in the CapX 2020 transmission line that a group of utilities proposes to construct between Brookings, S.D., and Hampton, Minn. Willmar will invest up to $12.3 million in the $750 million project. Willmar will not receive power supply from the 240-mile line, but revenue from ownership of the line will help Willmar offset increasing transmission costs, explains Bruce Gomm, municipal utilities general manager.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will be asked to repeal an ordinance that allows police officers to issue informal administrative citations rather than traditional criminal citations for violating certain petty misdemeanors. The request will be made to the council by the Public Works/Safety Committee. The panel voted this week to recommend the ordinance, enacted by the council in 2003, be repealed. The council will consider the recommendation Monday night. The committee supported a request by Police Chief David Wyffels to repeal the ordinance.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee took no action this week on the question of whether or not the council should end the city's one-half percent local option sales tax. "Do we want to do anything: stop collecting or continue collecting the tax?'' chairman Denis Anderson asked the committee. After committee members reviewed the history of the seven-year tax, received an update on revenue collected since the tax went into effect in 2006, and after hearing two committee members speak in favor of it, and in the absence of any motions, Anderson declared collections would cont