David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 8 months
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 -- Portions of four streets severely damaged by spring frost boils and one damaged street needing underground utility work are proposed to be added to the city's 2011 street reconstruction and improvement program. The four severely damaged streets are 20th Avenue Southwest, 25th Street Southwest, 11th Avenue Southeast and Fourth Avenue Southeast. In addition, 12th Street Southwest needs utility work and reconstruction. City Public Works Director Holly Wilson has proposed reconstructing 20th Avenue Southwest, 25th Street Southwest, 11th Avenue Southeast and Fourth Avenue Southeast be
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.
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 -- City officials are proposing a sump pump inspection program to reduce the amount of clear water entering and overtaxing the wastewater treatment system. Officials say the inspection program is needed because excess clear water is taking up the hydraulic capacity of the treatment system.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission received information Monday on a proposed electric rate increase of 6.5 percent per year over three years, beginning this year. Commission members directed their Planning Committee to study the increase and return with a recommendation. Electric rates were last increased in 2009.
WILLMAR -- A failed motor shut down one of Willmar Municipal Utilities' two wind turbines on Sunday, but the motor was replaced this week and the turbine returned to service Thursday, according to Wes Hompe, utility staff electrical engineer. He said the problem was investigated Monday by technicians for turbine supplier DeWind Company of Round Rock, Texas. DeWind has technicians in the state. Both turbines are located near Willmar Senior High School. The outage occurred in Turbine No. 4, the south tower closest to the school. No.
WILLMAR -- Bergh's Fabricating has terminated its nearly three-year purchase agreement with the city to buy the former airport terminal site. Bergh's was interested in buying the site, located across from the company on Airport Drive. But the purchase is pending the Federal Aviation Administration's release of the old airport to the city. The city has been hoping to develop the old airport into an industrial park after the new airport west of town opened on Sept.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council this week vetoed a decision by the Municipal Utilities Commission to increase meal allowances for utility employees conducting work-related instate and outstate business. The city charter gives the council veto authority over Utilities Commission actions. But utility General Manager Bruce Gomm says he is concerned that the council is micromanaging by vetoing the increase and Gomm said the council's action was inappropriate. The Utilities Commission voted April 25 to increase the daily meal allowance for employees conducting work-related business from $40