David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 months
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Design Center has received a $5,000 grant from the Willmar Area Community Foundation to buy an electronic benefits transfer machine that will let Becker Market shoppers pay for their purchases with their debit cards. The grant will be used to buy the machine and to train Becker Market staff and vendors who sell their food and other wares at the summertime outdoor market in downtown Willmar. Besides accepting debit cards, the machine will accept the cards used by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The U.S.
WILLMAR -- City Attorney Rich Ronning says the state Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office did not adequately fund the state's judicial system in 2009. As was true for many other branches of government, there was a significant budget cut for the criminal justice system. The cut had a huge negative effect on the courts as well as on the Public Defender's Office, Ronning said. The Court Administrator's Office in Kandiyohi County now closes at 2 p.m. Fridays and sends its employees home without pay for the rest of the day, Ronning said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has authorized city staff to enter into discussions with the Willmar School District about the future of the Garfield School building, including possible acquisition of the property by the city. The school district has indicated an interest in disposing of the building at 512 Eighth St. S.W.
WILLMAR -- Belle Plaine's experience with crash-reducing safety improvements at a highway intersection has apparently convinced the Willmar City Council to support similar safety improvements at the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection. The council voted 8-0 Monday to support the design improvements known as No.
WILLMAR -- Margaret Latcham of Willmar and her brother, Francis Whetston of Lake Lillian, say they enjoy eating at McMillan's Restaurant in Willmar. Latcham says the wait staff is friendly "and Ron is really nice.'' Latcham was referring to Ron Guetter, who won't be leaving McMillan's anytime soon. He and his wife, Mary, both longtime McMillan's employees, recently bought the South First Street restaurant where they plan to continue providing good food and friendly service. The Guetters have been working at McMillan's since the restaurant opened 30 years ago.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will be asked Monday to support the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection safety design it rejected April 5. The council's Public Works/Safety Committee voted this week to recommend council members support the design known as No. 3½ with the understanding that the city, Kandiyohi County and Minnesota Department of Transportation would share equally in the construction cost currently estimated at $363,210 and that MnDOT would be responsible for project coordination including design, bidding and letting, and construction management.
WILLMAR -- City officials say they've found the revenue they need to cover both a $286,032 reduction in this year's Local Government Aid and an unexpected $32,000 reduction in this year's property tax levy. The combined $318,032 loss will be covered with $320,269 in revenue from a variety of sources. The revenue cuts, and the solution to funding those cuts, were presented to the City Council's Finance Committee on Monday by City Administrator Michael Schmit and City Finance Director Steve Okins. The committee approved their recommendation to amend the 2010 city budget to reflect the budgeta
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities estimates it will save thousands of dollars by hiring an assistant engineer to work on electrical system and power plant upgrades and projects rather than hire outside engineering consultants to plan the projects. The utility has 13 projects pending for 2010. Hiring an outside consultant would cost an estimated $516,000, but the utility would save an estimated $320,000 by hiring an assistant engineer if all of the projects are done this year.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an airport land cost repayment agreement with the Minnesota Department of Transportation Office of Aeronautics. The agreement lets the city use proceeds from the sale of old airport land for projects at the new airport, rather than use those proceeds to repay part or all of $824,380 given by the state to the city over the decades to acquire land at the old airport site. The agreement, approved by the council Monday night, says those proceeds will be used to pay down the owed amount. Any amount remaining by June 30, 2012, must be paid to the s
WILLMAR -- City officials are trying to arrange a meeting with Kandiyohi County and the Minnesota Department of Transportation now that the Willmar City Council voted not to support a county and MnDOT preferred alternative for reducing crashes at the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection. The council Monday night defeated a motion supporting a proposed design alternative known as No. 3½ that MnDOT and the county feel is the best solution to reduce severe damage and injury from crashes at the intersection. The 5-3 vote was taken during a 4-hour and 15-minute meeting.