David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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The Willmar City Council has approved the preliminary plat of Mills Second Addition, located north of the Mills Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, RAM and Jeep dealership on the west side of U.S.
WILLMAR -- Raising backyard chickens in residential zoned areas would not be allowed under a revised animal ordinance the Willmar City Council is asking City Attorney Robert Scott to prepare. Raising chickens in agricultural or industrial zoned areas would be allowed, however, and the number would be limited to no more than 50. Besides prohibiting the raising of backyard chickens in residential areas except as specified, the proposal would limit the number of backyard pigeons and rabbits that may be kept per property. The language of the proposed ordinance would revise an earlier proposal s
WILLMAR -- Willmar Police Chief David Wyffels will be reviewing the city ordinance that prohibits keeping or harboring a dog that habitually barks, bays, cries or howls. Wyffels told the City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee at its recent meeting that he was asked by Mayor Frank Yanish to look into whether the council would be interested in revising the ordinance or looking for other ordinances that may have different regulations. The council enacted the barking dog ordinance Nov. 7, 2001. It prohibits keeping or harboring a dog which habitually barks, bays, cries, or howls.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Public Works Director/City Engineer Holly Wilson will be resigning her position to take a job as city administrator for Pine City. Her last day of work for the city of Willmar will be Sept. 14. In a memorandum Thursday to Willmar City Administrator Charlene Stevens, Wilson said she has appreciated the opportunities she has been given and the professional guidance and support she received from administration, City Council and staff. Stevens said Friday that Wilson has been a very good employee for the city of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Labor Committee is recommending the council fill a vacant full-time position in the Assessing Department with an individual from among current employees. The council will consider the recommendation on Tuesday. The committee this week recommended the opening be posted internally and filled by promoting a clerical employee.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council reject the lone bid received for an airport runway improvement project and instead re-advertise for bids. Even though multiple contractors had the plans and specifications, only one contractor submitted a bid. Interstate Improvement of Faribault bid $223,497, which was above the engineer's estimate of $190,500. According to Public Works Director Holly Wilson, the other contractors were called after the Aug. 9 bid opening.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has directed its Labor Committee to negotiate an employment agreement with utility interim co-manager Wesley Hompe to serve as general manager. The commission voted 6-0 Monday to direct the committee to negotiate with Hompe and return the agreement to the commission for approval. Voting in favor were Steve Salzer, Jerry Gesch, Dave Baker, Matt Sch-rupp, Carol Laumer and Dan Holtz. Commissioner Dave Becker was absent. Hompe and Melrose City Public Works Director John Harren were the two finalists interviewed by the commission to fill the
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council member Doug Reese says he opposes a proposed ordinance amendment that would set objective standards for residents wanting to care for or raise animals or fowl. The council has been debating the ordinance amendment for about a month in response to interest in growing backyard fowl and the potential nuisance factor associated with raising the animals. The current ordinance lacks objective standards necessary for a fair and effective permitting scheme and needs to be updated, according to an analysis by city attorneys Robert Scott and Christopher Hood. Reese st
SPICER -- Fundamental changes are coming to the electric industry and electric consumers will be asked to partner with their utility and take more responsibility for their bill, says an energy industry organization spokesman. Joel Johnson, director of government affairs with Minnesota Rural Electric Association of Maple Grove, thinks there will be options for consumers to generate their own electricity. "There's been rapid advances with solar energy that's bringing the cost down and that will allow consumers to generate more of their own energy,'' says Johnson. "But they're also going to ha
WILLMAR -- Willmar Mayor Frank Yanish has declared his support for the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require voters to present a photo ID in order to vote. The ame-ndment will appear on the ballot in the Nov. 6 general el-ection. The mayor told reporters Wednesday morning at his South First Street tire business that he felt he needed to take a stand in favor of the amendment after mayors in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Rochester this week declared they opposed the amendment. "We need a photo ID to cash a check and drive a car.