David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council renew the annual intergovernmental transfer payment agreement with Rice Memorial Hospital. Under a formula established in 2007, Rice pays the city an amount equal to .40 percent of prior year net assets, but at no time will the payment to the city be less than $200,000. The 2010 payment will be $205,664, according to information presented to the committee on Monday. The Municipal Utilities also makes an annual intergovernmental payment to the city.
WILLMAR -- An attorney for the Westwind low-income housing project says Willmar City Council approval is not required for the project to receive a $350,000 state grant as part of its financing package. The grant was to be passed through from the city to project developer Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership of Slayton under a cooperative agreement the council approved with the Minnesota Department of Em-ployment and Economic Development in 2008. The grant was to go to Southwest in the form of a loan that was to be secured by a mortgage between Southwest and the city.
WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar intends to amend its sign ordinance to reflect the most current sign technology. The Willmar City Council has set March 15 for the public hearing to consider an amendment to the sign ordinance that would allow animation in electronic signs but would prohibit rapid animation so as to not distract or mimic any emergency vehicles. The amendment was recommended by the Planning Commission. The amendment would better align the sign ordinance with current sign technology, explained Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services. Council member Ron Chr
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has killed the certificate of need for the transmission lines that would have served the failed Big Stone II power plant in eastern South Dakota. But the PUC has kept the route permit for the transmission lines open for one year to give the power plant's partners time to find other parties that may want to construct the proposed lines. Bret Exnes, a PUC facility planner, said the situation is unusual. "I don't really have much for precedent regarding a certificate of need that we've issued that hasn't worked out and we've canceled it.
Vi and Kelly Klucas of Willmar were among nearly 200 people at Calvary Lutheran Church who recently waited on a Sunday night for volunteers to serve plates of cheesy chicken casserole and crunchy coleslaw, along with fruit salad, dinner roll, cookies and beverage. Calvary and other churches are participating in a program of serving free meals every month to hundreds of people in the community, including the Klucases. "It's a very good program,'' said Vi. "It's hard to believe they give something free. It's nice to get out. You always have somebody different at your table.
Twenty-eight years of generous community support have enabled the Willmar Area Food Shelf to provide emergency food assistance to thousands of Kandiyohi County families and individuals, according to Food Shelf staff and volunteers. A 25-year volunteer says assisting clients, stocking shelves and taking inventory is not difficult because she knows everybody will be served. "I don't know if there's ever been a time that I've been here that we haven't been able to serve a client, and that's cool,'' says the volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous. The Food Shelf was started in 1982 as a tempo
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved a settlement to use a landowner's property for the new wastewater treatment plant's interceptor sewer line. Under the settlement, the city agrees to pay $87,500 to Wallace Janssen of Willmar for acquiring a permanent easement and a temporary construction easement on 5 to 6 acres of Janssen's land along 28th Avenue Southwest and east of the intersection with 15th Street Southwest. In exchange for the payment, Janssen agrees to the "full, final and complete settlement of all claims related to the taking of his land for the easement,'' according
WILLMAR -- Mayor Les Heitke warned City Council members Monday night the city could face an expensive and lengthy lawsuit after the council voted against signing a document that would pass a state grant through to the developer of the Westwind low-income housing project in southwest Willmar. A motion to authorize an official, pro-bably eit-her the mayor or city ad-ministrator, to sign the document was defeated 4-2. Council members voting against the motion were Ron Christianson, Tim Johnson, Steve Ahmann and Jim Dokken. Voting in favor were Bruce DeBlieck and Denis Anderson.
WILLMAR -- Public Works Department employees have been spending more time on snow-related activities this winter than in past winters, particularly removing snow piles at Willmar intersections. The piles have been obscuring the view of motorists venturing through and making turns at intersections this winter.
WILLMAR -- Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota is examining the potential acquisition and rehabilitation of the John's Supper Club building in downtown Willmar for office space. The intent by LSS to explore how the building could be economically converted for use as office and service space was made known this week in a letter sent by LSS Vice President of Finance Kenneth Borle to Randy Kardell, city building official. The building at the corner of Third Street and Benson Avenue Southwest is owned by Paul Kidrowski of Willmar.