David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
WILLMAR -- Peter Molenaar hoped his son, Lester V. Molenaar, would become a good farmer. Although the younger Molenaar farmed for 19 years, his real interest was in business and inventions. "He always had an ambition to be in manufacturing,'' says Lester's son Steve, of Willmar. "His father got him started in farming, but he felt he never was a very good farmer, and he was inventing things back on the farm.'' Lester Molenaar, who started a toy manufacturing and specialty advertising business in Willmar in the 60s, died Nov. 15 at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar after an extended illness.
WILLMAR -- A member of the Storm Water Task Force is pleased the proposed 2010 city budget includes money to study recommendations for solving storm water flooding problems. "I think it's great,'' said task force member Joe Ridler. He was referring to a vote Monday by the City Council's Finance Committee to recommend the council increase the proposed 2010 property tax levy by $100,000 to update the 1998 draft watershed management report by Barr Engineering of Minneapolis. "The city's information is nine or 10 years old.
WILLMAR -- Next year will be a "down'' budgetary year for the Willmar Municipal Utilities, if the preliminary 2010 budget is any indication. The Utilities Commission received the preliminary 2010 budget on Monday and will act on the budget at the next meeting Dec.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has extended the deadline for the owner of the downtown John's Supper Club to have plans prepared for repairing the fire-damaged building. The previous council deadline ended Monday. The council approved a motion by Steve Ahmann to extend the deadline by 45 days for Paul Kidrowski to complete architectural and structural drawings and to obtain building permits. Ahmann and three other council members had been told at the council's Community Development Committee meeting on Nov.
WILLMAR -- The consultant working on a preliminary redesign concept of downtown Becker Avenue as a place for public festivals, markets, walkers and bikers believes investment by the public sector leads to investment by the private sector. "Anecdotally through working on projects like this for a couple of decades now, my experience is that when the public demonstrates a vision -- makes an investment in a public space -- private investment tends to follow that public vision,'' said Bruce Chamberlain, vice president of Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.
WILLMAR -- People who don't have bank checking or savings accounts know by "word of mouth'' they can have their employment checks cashed or money wired at alternative financial service providers such as Bennett Ventures Inc. of Willmar. "We have a loyal base of customers that really like our personal service, our ease of access,'' says Chris Bennett, business co-owner. "You don't have to park and walk and wait in line for 10 or 15 people. It's generally fast and we have a person who is smiling.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an order requiring the owners of the Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios Church to either make city-required safety and structural repairs to the deteriorating church building within 30 days or have the building at Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest razed and removed if the owners choose not to make the repairs. The order, allowed under state law, was prepared by City Attorney Rich Ronning and approved by the council Monday night. The order states that unless Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios takes corrective action or the owners serve an answer o
WILLMAR -- The City Public Works Department has completed a survey for possible safety improvements at the 23rd Street Northeast portion of the Highway 71/County Road 24/23rd intersection, according to Public Works Director Mel Odens. The next step will be putting a concept design together. Odens said the survey was completed recently.
WILLMAR -- The Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios Church has made an oral offer to give its deteriorating church property at Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest to the city. The offer was reported to city officials on Thursday by Robert Trevino, a Realtor with All-Star Realty of Willmar. All-Star has listed the property for sale.
WILLMAR -- Lyle Sande of Willmar said he was surprised when a UPS driver delivered a letter-size package to his door last month. The package contained an invitation from the government of the Netherlands. Sande and six other U.S. Army veterans in Minnesota were to be honored for helping liberate part of central Holland 65 years ago in a dangerous mission that involved more than 20,000 paratroopers. Sande recalls the fighting was a tremendous battle. "The Germans were waiting for us. They were not going to leave the country of Holland.