David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 5 months
WILLMAR -- Members of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission had thought they would be discussing and acting during a special meeting at 11:45 a.m. today on recommendations by the law firm conducting an investigation into possible misconduct by General Manager Bruce Gomm. However, the report has been delayed because the lawyer from the St. Cloud law firm conducting the investigation had a trial two weeks ago. Dyan Ebert of the Quinlivan law firm of St.
WILLMAR -- A terminated coal handler is alleging he was the victim of employment discrimination by the Willmar Municipal Utilities because of his national origin and religion. Besides claiming he was treated differently and less favorably because of his Mexican origin and his Mormon religion, Nefi Ibarra, 31, of Willmar says he was required to take the commercial driver's license exam to operate utility vehicles on unpaid time even though he was told by co-workers that other employees, including his supervisor, were paid on company time to take the exam. Ibarra filed the discrimination charg
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish says 2011 was a strong year and a year of many changes for Willmar. One goal set by the City Council at last April's planning session and accomplished this year was the hiring of new City Administrator Charlene Stevens, Yanish told the council Monday in the annual State of the City message. Other goals were: * Maintaining efficient and effective services and maintaining efficient investments in transportation, facilities and technology -- all with less revenue. * Having strong public partnerships with Kandiyohi County and the Willmar School District and engagi
WILLMAR -- The Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the City Council schedule a hearing Feb. 21 to take comments from the public on the preliminary report of proposed 2012 street construction and improvement projects. The council will hear the recommendation when it meets in regular session at 7 p.m. Monday in the chambers at the Municipal Utilities Building, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W. The council on Jan. 17 ordered the Engineering Department to prepare the improvement report, and the report was presented to the committee this week by Public Works Director Holly Wilson.
WILLMAR -- Construction is under way at the Assembly of God Church in Willmar of an education wing called the Tree House addition that's designed with children through sixth grade in mind. The church was running out of space for its nursery, preschool, elementary and Sunday morning and Wednesday night programs and church officials realized something had to be done, explained Keith Kerstetter, senior pastor. "We looked at a lot of alternatives, and even though the economy wasn't cooperating, and it didn't seem like a great time to be asking people to dig deeper, we just felt like something ne
WILLMAR -- Demolition was under way Friday of an unused portion of the UMEC USA building in downtown Willmar. The portion being demolished is located on Third Street Southwest and had housed apartments but the units were in disrepair and had not been rented for a long time, said City Building Official Randy Kardell. He said UMEC received a building permit last week to perform the demolition. The exposed walls will have an exterior finish.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council member Ron Christianson has suggested that the council consider having more of its members being allowed to vote on the various boards and commissions on which they're appointed to serve. Christianson said he suggested the idea because Mayor Frank Yanish a few months ago asked council members for names of citizens to fill some vacancies on various boards and commissions. The mayor proposes and the council approves citizen appointments to various boards and commissions. In addition, the mayor appoints council members to serve as liaisons to boards and commissi
WILLMAR -- More homeowners, renters and businesses in Willmar were unable to pay their utility bills in 2011 compared with the number that did not pay their bills during the previous two years. Every year, Willmar Municipal Utilities writes off a certain amount of uncollected bills, also known as bad debt, from mobile homes, houses, apartments and businesses. Accounts that have no activity for three months past the final date are written off.
WILLMAR -- Dave Baker thanked members of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission this week for electing him president for 2012. Baker was absent when the commissioners held their organizational meeting and elected officers earlier this month. Baker replaces Doug Lindblad as president. "I will do my very best to get through a rocky time right now,'' he said. "A lot of deci-sions have to be made and we need a lot of good leadership these next several months, es-pecially in the next couple of years as well.'' The commission on Dec.