David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
WILLMAR -- The city asked congressional lobbyist David Turch last year to request $9.7 million in federal money for five local projects, including $2 million for the new wastewater conveyance and treatment system. None of the requests has yet been approved. City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city asked for the wastewater money, recognizing that Congress has authorized but not appropriated the original $15 million request for the $86.2 million project. "We'll chip away at it if we can, but we all know what is happening at the federal and state level,'' Schmit told the City Council's
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission will negotiate a settlement rather than fight the U.S.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members say they want questions answered about a water rate increase of 9 to 10 percent a year over two years being proposed by the Willmar Municipal Utilities. Council members would like to know why the utility did not enact smaller annual increases rat-her than wait two years before enacting a larger increase and they would like to know what the utility is doing to control costs. Finance Committee members asked the same questions when they met with Utility General Manager Bruce Gomm on Dec. 13.
WILLMAR -- Dean Peterson of Glenwood grew up in Kerkhoven but hung out as a kid on Fourth Street in downtown Willmar. "If you wanted to be where the action was, you went to Fourth Street,'' recalls Peterson, 55. "That was before the Kandi Mall was built. It was a happening place. All the main businesses were right there.'' One of those businesses was the Willmar Theater, a grand place to watch movies, as many locals will testify. The theater was closed in 1980 and the building was converted into office space known as Heritage Square.
WILLMAR -- Eleven units are rented and four more units will be rented by the end of the month at the new Westwind Townhomes low-income housing development in southwest Willmar. The $5,377,000 development consists of 14 structures. Each structure has two rental units for a total of 28 units.
WILLMAR -- The Westwind development is offering affordable single-family housing opportunities as well as affordable rental housing. Homeownership is more affordable because developer Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership established a "partnership community land trust'' for the nearly 17-acre development that's officially known as Westwind Estates Third Addition Community Land Trust. The Westwind Estates Third Addition Community Land Trust has townhomes for rent and single-family homes for sale. There are two distinct ownerships: the townhomes are owned by Westwind Estates Townhomes Limi
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council on Wednesday voted 4-3 to hire Springsted Inc. of St. Paul to assist the council in the search for a candidate to replace long-time City Administrator Michael Schmit. Schmit will retire on July 31 after serving 36 years with the city including 20 as administrator. Voting in favor were Doug Reese, Denis Anderson, Tim Johnson and Steve Ah-mann. Voting ag-ainst were Ron Chr-istianson, Rick Fa-gerlie and Jim Dok-ken.
WILLMAR -- City Administrator Michael Schmit is proposing the Willmar City Council hold a work session to discuss the topic of privatizing public services and to specifically focus on public works and park mai-ntenance. Some council members and Mayor-elect Frank Yanish are suggesting the city explore the possibility of privatizing services as a way to increase efficiency and cut costs during a time of reduced tax revenue. "We have to think differently and operate differently in this day and time,'' said Denis Anderson, chairman of the council's Finance Committee.
WILLMAR -- The idea of privatizing public services and programs is not a new phenomenon for the city of Willmar, says City Administrator Michael Schmit. As recently as the early 1990s, the city considered contractual agreements for managing or owning the wastewater treatment plant.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council approved agreements Monday night that will lead to development of the Mid Central Research and Outreach Center at the MinnWest Technology Campus. The research center is a joint project of MinnWest, the city, the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. The agreements will allow campus owner MinnWest Technology Management Company LLC to use a $1.25 million state grant to renovate a building where the technology research and miscellaneous technology services center will be located. One agreement is a long-term lease