David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council ask citizens to rank the city's 10 most important programs or activities. Their comments will guide Mayor Les Heitke and council members as they prepare the 2011 city budget. If the council enacts the proposed survey, citizens will also be asked if they support a tax increase, fee increases, or cuts in municipal services if Local Government Aid paid by the state of Minnesota is reduced.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities was one of many municipal utilities in the state that sent employees to provide mutual aid and help restore power to the tornado-ravaged city of Wadena. The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association called for mutual aid after the tornado struck Wadena on June 17 and crews from Willmar, Moorhead, Sauk Centre, Elk River, Detroit Lakes, Melrose and other utilities answered the call. Two Willmar linemen, Zach Larson and Casey Jenny, and a double-bucket truck left Willmar at 4:30 a.m. on June 20 and returned to Willmar at 10 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Discussions are continuing on the possibility of establishing a cooperative grocery store with a local foods focus. The idea for the store grew out of a desire by vendors at the summertime Becker Market to have a year-round outlet for their products. People interested in establishing a cooperative grocery store met for seven hours this week with a financial consultant with experience in starting and sustaining food co-ops. The meeting was sponsored by the Willmar Design Center and Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. The group of 13 people receiv
WILLMAR -- Wet soil caused a portion of the foundation of an older house to fail Wednesday at 933 2nd St. S.E. Bruce Peterson, director of city planning and development services, said the city has a lot of expansive soil that swells when it becomes wet. The swelling exerts pressure on foundations and sometimes squeezes the water through the foundation and pushes walls in. The house is a vacated rental property. City Building Official Randy Kardell worked with utility companies to have the gas, water and electricity disconnected.
WILLMAR -- Pressure from rain water backing up in the storm sewer caused the road surface to buckle early Wednesday morning in the intersection of 10th Street and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest in Willmar. Public Works Director Mel Odens explained that pressure from backed up storm water forced water to escape around the manhole casting below the street surface and caused a portion of the road surface to break apart. Odens said the surface was made passable Wednesday and the casting will be repaired as soon as possible.
WILLMAR -- Willmar officials will decide if the old wastewater treatment plant site will be prepared to allow for future development of a storm water detention area to alleviate some of the city's storm water flooding problems. The old treatment plant will be decommissioned after the new wastewater treatment plant located west of the city begins operating later this year. Closing the old plant has, from the beginning, been part of the $86.2 million program to build the new plant and conveyance system, ac-cording to officials.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council unanimously defeated a motion Monday night to declare two abandoned mobile homes unsafe in violation of city exterior storage and exterior maintenance ordinances. Instead, the council voted 8-0 to return the concept of removing unsafe mobile homes and subsequent removal costs to the Community Development Committee for more discussion. The committee had recommended the council declare a mobile home in Regency East and a mobile home in Regency West as unsafe and unfit for human habitation.
WILLMAR -- The City Council's Community Development Committee will ask the council to declare two abandoned mobile homes unsafe in violation of city exterior storage and exterior maintenance ordinances. Both homes are in Regency East and Regency West mobile home parks, owned by Churchill Group of Carbondale, Colo. The Willmar City Council tonight will consider the committee's recommendation to declare the mobile homes at 1400 Lakeland Dr. N.E., Lot 7, and 401 30th St.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members might consider taking comments from local citizens into account as officials and Mayor Les Heitke begin the process this summer of discussing and putting together the city's 2011 budget. The idea of possibly taking a community survey was raised by Finance Committee Chairman Denis Anderson.
WILLMAR -- City Public Works Director Mel Odens will resign his position to take a job with the Minnesota Department of Transportation. His last day with the city is July 9. Odens will become the district st-ate aid en-gineer at the District 8 office in Willmar. He has been the city's public works director for nearly 14 years. He started on Oct. 28, 1996.