David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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WILLMAR -- A peace activist visiting Willmar this week says the story about what he describes as the Israeli government's discrimination, injustice and oppression of Palestinians is not well-known in the United States. "Not all Israelis are guilty, but the right-wing Israeli government is exercising apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the Palestinians, trying to drive them out of Israel to make the state entirely Jewish,'' says Dr.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission President Dave Baker is suggesting the commission conduct interviews on or about Aug.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission is taking steps to replace a large power supply contract with a number of smaller power supply contracts. The commission Monday voted to buy 5.5 megawatts of power from WPPI Energy of Sun Prairie, Wis., under a 20-year contract with Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency of Blue Earth. Approval of the contract is part of Willmar's effort to replace a 30-megawatt contract, which the utility has had for more than 20 years with Great River Energy of Elk River, with a number of smaller contracts from diverse resources.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Administrator Charlene Stevens says Fire Chief Marv Calvin who is resigning from the position he has held with the city for the past 13 years will be a difficult individual to replace for the city. In a letter of resignation from Calvin to Stevens on Monday, the fire chief said he has accepted a position as fire liaison for the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities Fire Consortium. Calvin's last day with the city will be Aug. 9, which happens to coincide with his birthday. He begins his new duties Aug.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Fire Chief Marv Calvin said today he will resign his position with the city on Aug. 9 and begin his new duties as fire liaison with the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System beginning Aug. 13. Calvin said he will be working with fire educators, program managers and MnSCU deans of fire training at Ridgewater College in Willmar. "It's an excellent opportunity for me and the next step in the logical progression for my skill set,'' Calvin told the Tribune. Calvin grew up in Pennock, graduated from Willmar High School in 1974 and joined the fire service in 1977.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council approved a staff request Monday to fill a vacant operator position at the wastewater treatment plant. The council's Labor Relations Committee met last week and recommended filling the treatment plant operator position.
WILLMAR -- Construction activity in Willmar is starting to pick up during the first half of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011. Willmar Building Office Randy Kardell says the city issued five more building permits for the first six months of 2012 compared with the same period in 2011.
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish told the City Council's Labor Relations Committee that he opposes filling all three employee vacancies that have occurred in the assessing department, at the new wastewater treatment plant and in the engineering department. Yanish made his comment during a two-hour meeting Wednesday when the committee also considered authorizing an organizational assessment by consultant Springsted Inc., and a request to have the full council be engaged in labor contract negotiations. Yanish said he will not sign the City Council minutes if the council votes to fill the three po
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee approved plans and specifications Tuesday for runway crack-sealing work at the airport. The committee's recommendation to approve the work will be considered by the council at the July 16 meeting. The plans and specifications were prepared by airport consultant Bolton and Menk Engineers and Surveyors of Willmar under a work order approved earlier by the council. Committee Chairman Doug Reese asked Jared Voge, Bolton and Menk project manager, to explain the need for professional services for the runway project.
WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee of the Willmar City Council Monday afternoon reviewed a proposed fund balance policy from city staff.