David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 2 months
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm says he's disappointed and worried about the demise of the proposed Big Stone II power plant and transmission line project. "We were counting on that not only for Willmar's needs but for the whole region.
WILLMAR -- Area real estate agents say a bill that would extend and expand the first-time homebuyer federal tax credit would definitely help the housing market. As part of the government's efforts to encourage people to spend money to help revive the economy, the House voted 403-12 Thursday to expand a popular tax credit for homebuyers.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an amended street closure policy that lets the council decide whether or not to close a street without fear of possible liability repercussions arising from the closure. The amended policy was approved 6-2 Monday night with Ron Christianson, Denis Anderson, Steve Ahmann, Tim Johnson, Jim Dokken and Rick Fagerlie in favor and Doug Reese and Bruce DeBlieck opposed. The revised policy would give the council discretion -- not allowed under the previous policy -- to close a thoroughfare or collector street for a city-wide function or for a private
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members want to know if small wind turbines would be allowed within the city limits even if the city has no ordinance to regulate turbines. That's the question council members have asked City Attorney Rich Ronning to answer. The question arose during a council hearing Monday night on a proposed ordinance that would regulate and set standards for smaller wind turbines in residential and commercial areas. Council members tabled the ordinance until they hear from Ronning. Mayor Les Heitke asked Ronning if turbines are allowed in the city without an ordinance.
WILLMAR -- There will be no cost-of-living salary increases for top city officials, department heads, first-line supervisors and confidential employees in 2010, the Willmar City Council has decided. The council voted Monday to extend the current terms and conditions of the employment agreements of City Administrator Michael Schmit, City Attorney Rich Ronning and number of other city employees. The extension was recommended by the council's Finance Committee.
WILLMAR -- The City Council's Community Development Committee will be asking the council to declare the Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios Church at 707 Litchfield Ave. S.W.
WILLMAR -- There will be more debate on a proposed revision to the street closure policy when the City Council meets on Monday night. The revised policy would give council members discretion -- not allowed under the present policy -- to close a thoroughfare or collector street for a city-wide function or for a private function. The present council-approved policy states that only low volume residential streets, dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs may be closed.
WILLMAR -- People who call the fire department for service should pay for that service. That's the rationale behind a suggestion by Willmar City Council member Rick Fagerlie for implementing an ordinance that would authorize the city to charge for emergency fire protection services.
WILLMAR -- The four remaining partners in the proposed Big Stone II project hope to replace Otter Tail Power Company of Fergus Falls after Otter Tail withdrew from the project in September as a partner, lead developer and plant operator. If the partners are successful in recruiting a larger utility company to replace Otter Tail, Big Stone II will proceed, says Bob Schulte, chief executive officer for Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency of Blue Earth, one of the remaining partners. Schulte presented a status report on Big Stone II to the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday.
WILLMAR -- A family of three escaped a fire early Sunday morning that destroyed their mobile home. Willmar Fire Chief Marv Calvin said the occupants had just bought the mobile home at Regency Estates West and moved in three days ago. They were identified in an initial complaint report as Jason Rodriguez, 19, Ana Silva, 18, and Jason A. Rodriguez, 5 months. Calvin said The Salvation Army was working with them to find shelter. Firefighters were called at 4:03 a.m. Sunday and were on the scene until 6:35 a.m. The fire began behind the stove.