David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 months
WILLMAR -- The city is making progress on bringing the 207 mobile homes at Regency East and Regency West Parks into compliance with exterior maintenance and storage requirements. Of the 207 homes inspected by Planning and Development Services Department staff, 120 homes are in compliance with exterior maintenance ordinances as of Friday, with 87 not in compliance, according to Bruce Peterson, department director. He said 102 were cited for exterior storage violations. The city began a sweep of the parks late this summer.
WILLMAR -- Longtime City Council member Doug Reese wants something done to speed up reconstruction of Willmar streets he says "are falling apart underneath us.'' Reese has expressed his concern about deteriorating street conditions on a number of occasions during City Council meetings and committee meetings, and he raised the concern again with members of the Public Works/Safety Committee, which he chairs. The committee voted Tuesday to ask the Finance Committee and Finance Department to investigate the feasibility of bonding for street repairs.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's two wind turbines have not been turning for a week and a half because the manufacturer did not install heating equipment required to keep the high-tech equipment at the top of the towers operating in cold weather. The turbine manufacturer, DeWind, has not provided a reason why the cold weather package, which was included in the $3.1 million purchase price for each turbine, was not installed this past summer when the turbines were constructed, according to Bruce Gomm, Willmar Municipal Utilities general manager. Gomm said DeWind sent a maintenance crew Dec.
WILLMAR -- Green Mill's liquor license would be suspended five days in January rather than in December if the Willmar City Council approves a Finance Committee recommendation. The committee voted Monday evening to recommend Green Mill's license to sell alcohol be suspended from Jan. 3 through 7 rather than Dec. 22 through 26. Green Mill was one of seven establishments to fail a police department liquor license compliance check in late October by selling alcohol to an underage police decoy.
WILLMAR -- A commercial recycling business hopes you'll drop your used clothing, textiles and shoes in one of the company's big red collection boxes rather than tossing those items in the trash. The big red boxes, located in Willmar and other cities across the country, are owned by U'SAgain, a company started 10 years ago in Seattle and now headquartered in the Chicago area. The company is dedicated to reducing landfill waste by making wearable items available to the less fortunate and recycling un-wearable textiles. "We're a country of surplus and a country of convenience and a country of
WILLMAR -- Willmar city officials are working on an environmental assessment review they hope will eventually lead to the Federal Aviation Administration's release of FAA authority over the former airport property and allow the city to develop the site as an industrial park.
WILLMAR -- A group called the Central Minnesota Veterans Historical Council believes the 68-year-old terminal at the former city airport would be a good location for a military museum, a Veterans Council member says. "They are just looking at using a facility somewhere in Willmar because it's a nice central location for the region, and one that came to mind was the former airport terminal property,'' says John Lindstrand of Willmar, who is known for his collection of 5,000 military items dating back to the Civil War. "We've understood there was a historical relevance to that property that wa
WILLMAR -- Two Willmar City Council members want to see changes made in the ordinance setting minimum penalties for establishments that illegally sell alcohol to minors. Ron Christianson says he doesn't favor the Police Department's periodic checks -- as required by ordinance -- of establishments to monitor compliance of liquor license holders, and said the city should provide incentives to establishments instead of punishment. Tim Johnson is questioning the fairness of the ordinance because the establishment faces a civil penalty while the server, usually a young person, faces a criminal pe
WILLMAR -- Last year, Vietnam War veteran Ron Mackedanz of Kandiyohi placed about 120 donated Christmas wreaths at gravesites of fallen soldiers from Kandiyohi County. This year, with the help of donations from churches, individuals and organizations, Mackedanz hopes to buy and place 500 wreaths at gravesites of the county's fallen soldiers. "I guess you could call it a labor of love.
WILLMAR -- Interest is sprouting in establishing a community-owned grocery store featuring locally produced food and possibly food delivery, food demonstrations and maybe even a local-foods restaurant. Citizens exploring the concept say such a store would be a 21st century upgrade of a traditional food cooperative and provide a pleasing atmosphere and customer service, such as found at a Whole Foods store. The idea grows out of a desire by Becker Market vendors for a year-round outlet for their products, says Beverly Dougherty, project coordinator for the Willmar Design Center, which sponsor