David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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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
WILLMAR -- Lynn Jeremiason, owner of The Film Drop, has announced he will be closing the store at 912 First St. S. on June 3. Jeremiason and his wife have owned and operated the business for the past 30 years. A closure noticed was posted on the door on Monday. He said economic conditions, the loss of a major contract and changes in the photographic industry led him to the decision to close. "Everybody has been going through industry changes,'' Jeremiason said Tuesday.
WILLMAR -- The New 2 You Thrift Store at 1401 First St. S. in Willmar will remodel and expand into space formerly occupied by NAPA Auto Parts Store, and the NAPA store has moved and has opened for business at its new location at 409 19th Ave. S.W. in Willmar. New 2 You is a nonprofit ministry of Central Minnesota Christian School in Prinsburg.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council approve a contract with Reiner Contracting Inc. of Hutchinson to remove two obsolete wastewater lift stations. The lift stations, located on 21st Street Southwest and on 24th Avenue Southwest between First Street and Fifth Street, formerly pumped wastewater to the old treatment plant located just east of the Kandi Mall. Wastewater is now being treated at the new plant located 5 miles west of the city and the treatment structures at the old plant are being removed in a processing called decommissioning.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members reached a surprising consensus Wednesday evening when they agreed to discuss an offer of employment with one of six candidates the council interviewed this week to fill the position that will be vacated by the retirement of City Administrator Michael Schmit in July. The council interviewed three candidates Tuesday afternoon and interviewed three candidates Wednesday afternoon and had originally planned to call back two or three finalists for a second round of interviews on May 24 before making a decision. But council members surprised themselves, and t
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members began the process Tuesday of interviewing candidates to replace longtime City Administrator Michael Schmit who will retire at the end of July. Schmit has held the position since it was established in 1990 by the council. Six candidates were recommended by search consultant Sharon Klumpp, vice president of Springsted Inc. of St. Paul.
Almost every culture has its own type of clown. That's according to Randy Christensen of Willmar. And, Christensen knows something about clowns: he's been teaching and writing about clowning for years, and has performed in 25 states and four foreign countries -- all over the past 30-plus years. Clowns show themselves in different ways and provide stress relief, he said. "I really think that is my mission.