David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council set July 5 as the date for a public hearing to consider a two-step electric rate increase for Willmar Municipal Utilities. The committee heard Utility General Manager Bruce Gomm discuss the reasons for the increases and voted Monday af-ternoon to recommend the hearing date. The council will consider the recommendation on June 20. City Ad-ministrator Michael Schmit said the utility commission held its public hearing Monday noon.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has approved a two-step electric rate increase of 7 percent in July for the remainder of 2011 and a 7 percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2012.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities hopes to construct a building next to the power plant to store coal and eliminate dust and storm water runoff concerns. The project is among improvements, including new emission controls, being proposed for the plant. The plant burns gas and coal to generate electricity and provide hot water for the central heating district.
I grew up during the 1950s and '60s in the Camden area of North Minneapolis and moved away in 1968 after high school.
WILLMAR -- Bids are due next week from contractors interested in repairing larger frost boils among the dozens of frost boils that erupted in Willmar's city streets this spring. The City Council has authorized city staff to advertise for bids from contractors interested in repairing frost boils and utility cuts, and voted to transfer $352,000 from the WRAC 8 reserve to a project budget to pay the cost. City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city will rely on a private contractor to perform much of the repair work and particularly in areas where the frost boils are larger.
WILLMAR -- After more than two years of discussion and review, the Charter Commission has completed work on proposed amendments to the City Charter. "Back in March of 2009 we started our work and over two years later we're glad to say we are done at least with the final draft we're presenting,'' Charter Commission Chair Shawn Mueske told the City Council on Monday. On a voice vote the council directed City Attorney Rich Ronning to put the draft in ordinance form. Ronning did not know when he would have the ordinance completed and ready for a public hearing.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has set a hearing June 13 to take public comment on a two-step electric rate increase of 7 percent in July for the remainder of 2011 and another 7 percent increase in 2012. The commission voted during a special meeting Monday to set the hearing. The two-step proposal is different from an increase of 6.5 percent each year over three years that the commission discussed May 23 but referred to the planning committee for discussion and recommendation. The committee met over a week ago and recommended the revised proposal. If the commission v
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an employment agreement with Charlene Stevens as the new city administrator. Stevens will begin her duties Aug. 1. She is presently assistant county manager of Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kan. Stevens will replace Michael Schmit, who will retire on July 31 after serving the city for 36 years including 20 years as administrator. The council's approval of the agreement during a special meeting Friday afternoon was unanimous.
WILLMAR -- Owners of two local restaurants that failed an alcohol compliance check earlier this month discussed the violations with the Willmar City Council's Finance Committee this week. Juan Valencia of El Tapatio and Jon Emami, owner of Café Persepolis, met with the committee after their establishments failed the Willmar Police Department check on May 6 when an employee at each licensed liquor restaurant sold alcohol to an underage person. It was the first violation for each establishment within five years. License holders are required to appear before a council committee to explain meas
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will meet in special session at 4:30 p.m. today to consider contract terms and conditions for appointing Charlene Stevens as city administrator. Stevens, assistant county manager for Sedgewick County, Wichita, Kan., was the top choice of the Willmar City Council to replace long-time City Administrator Michael Schmit. He will be retiring in July. Stevens was among six finalists interviewed by the council May 10 and 11. Stevens was the first candidate to be interviewed on the first day of interviews.