David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council Tuesday night approved a 14 percent increase in municipal electric rates over the next year and a half. Electric rates will go up 7 percent effective today for the remainder of 2011 and will go up another 7 percent effective Jan.
WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar could survive a short delay of several weeks or maybe a little longer in receiving the first of two local government aid payments if the budget stalemate between the governor and the Legislature results in a state government shutdown July 1. "It's a concern not only that there might be a delay in payments but sometimes I wonder if the real question is will there be a payment and that's what's really scary,'' says City Administrator Michael Schmit. Willmar is budgeted to receive LGA totaling $4.48 million in two payments, one in July and one in December.
WILLMAR -- A group of 25 administrators, staff members and teachers from area school districts told three state legislators Tuesday morning at Willmar School District headquarters to pass a budget and provide adequate funding for education. They said flat funding has forced schools to cut millions of dollars from budgets in recent years, increase class sizes, eliminate early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school opportunities, and lay off staff. Montevideo Schools Superintendent Luther Heller said class sizes in his district are 36 to 40 students in the high school and 25 to 3
WILLMAR -- A local task force has completed work on a plan of ideas to extend and improve the city's biking and walking trails. The goal of the plan is to have a trail and pedestrian-friendly community, says Matthew Johnson, community development director for Mid-Minnesota Development Commission of Willmar. "If these ideas were implemented over the next 10 to 20 years, with the key implementation ideas over the next five years, this would make Willmar a very nice place to live.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has adopted a position statement that says the old airport terminal and paved ramp area should be demolished and that the smaller hangar located nearby should be rehabilitated for an historic display about the airport and recognize a local family's contribution to aviation. The council voted Monday to adopt the position statement.
WILLMAR -- Two public hearings are being recommended to consider additional street reconstruction projects this year. The City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council set the hearings for July 5. The council will consider the recommendation at its regular meeting tonight. The first hearing will consider reconstruction of one block of 12th Street Southwest from Becker Avenue to Trott Avenue Southwest.
WILLMAR -- Proposed amendments to Willmar's liquor license ordinance would increase fines for illegally serving minors, but eliminate liquor license holders from having their license suspended or revoked. The penalty for the first violation would remain the same -- a written warning. The proposed changes and additions for subsequent violations are as follows: - Second violation -- increase in fine from $750 to $1,000 and eliminate a five-day license suspension. - Third violation -- increase in fine from $1,500 to $2,000 and eliminate a 10-day suspension. - Fourth violation -- fine set at
WILLMAR -- Fines would increase for establishments that illegally sell alcohol to underage individuals under proposed amendments to Willmar's liquor license ordinance. However, liquor license suspension and revocation would be eliminated under the proposed change. The penalty for the first violation would remain the same as it is now, in which a written warning is sent to the license holder and an appearance is required by the license holder at a council committee meeting -- traditionally the Finance Committee -- to explain measures taken by the license holder to eliminate further violations
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.