David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
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WILLMAR -- Area zombie fans, wearing creepy makeup and dressed in torn and ''bloody'' clothing, walked along South First Street Friday afternoon from the Kandi Mall parking lot to Robbins Island, waving to motorists and having a good time. Organizers said this was the third year for the Willmar zombie walk. They were hoping about 50 people would participate. At Robbins Island, they danced to a zombie-themed band and had a meal.
DANUBE -- Renville-Sibley Cooperative Power Association, headquartered in Danube, has received an $8.6 million USDA Rural Development loan to improve the reliability and efficiency of Renville-Sibley's distribution system. Renville-Sibley is among 27 rural electric cooperative utilities in that will receive funding for generation and transmission projects, distribution facilities and smart grid technologies, according to U.S.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has tabled assessments for reconstructing the street and cul-de-sac on 19th Street Northwest after a property owner repeated his belief that the policy of assessing cul-de-sac lots on a per-unit basis rather than a linear front footage basis is unfair. The council voted this week to table adoption of the 19th Street Northwest assessments and sent the cul-de-sac assessment policy back to the Public Works/Safety Committee for more discussion. The committee meets next on Tuesday. 19th Street Northwest has eight lots on a roadway that ends in a cul-de-sac.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Food Shelf has begun a $290,000 project designed to replace the entrance, remodel the lobby area, shopping area and rear area, and finish the exterior with added insulation and siding. "Our plans are really just to make the food shelf more efficient,'' says Christy Kurth, food shelf executive director. On average, the food shelf is distributing about 50,000 pounds of food a month.
WILLMAR -- Willmar city officials are getting closer to an agreement under which the Federal Aviation Administration will release the old airport land in phases to the city for industrial development purposes. City staff is working with FAA to draft a memorandum of agreement that would include milestones for the releases.
LAKE LILLIAN -- You can get the Mexican or meat-lovers omelet, barbecued pork ribs, or burgers and fries but not an oil change at The Food Garage, a new restaurant located in the former Ford garage in downtown Lake Lillian. "I know we get a lot of people that love it and they'll make comments: 'Where do I get an oil change?
WILLMAR -- A plan to guide development of bicycle and pedestrian trails in Willmar is now an official part of the city's comprehensive land use plan. The comprehensive land use plan, updated in 2009, cites the need for work in the areas of trails and pedestrian uses and that's what the bicycle and pedestrian plan accomplishes, says Bruce Peterson, the city's director of planning and development services. The plan addresses the needs of pedestrians and bicyclists, and calls for a local transportation system that complements development and provides for bicycle and pedestrian access to places
The 9/11 attacks stunned America, and the country has not been the same since then, says a local pastor who worked with families of military members. "I've said many times the terrorists accomplished exactly what they wanted to do. They upset the economy, this country, the world,'' said Dean Johnson of Willmar, a Lutheran pastor and retired brigadier general in the chaplaincy program of the Army National Guard. The United States responded by launching the War on Terror. Security measures were increased at home and armed forces were sent into Iraq and Afghanistan.
Volunteers in a local organization understand that the best support they can give deployed service members is to help their families back home. Whether it's delivering meals, mowing lawns or painting a house, the goal of HomeFront Connection is to meet the needs of families, connect them to the community and its resources, and develop community awareness of the needs and sacrifices of area service members. HomeFront Connection was started in 2008 by Kammy Nelson. She serves as coordinator of the organization's leadership team.
WILLMAR -- Residents of the city and surrounding area will have a chance to dispose of batteries, appliances, electronics and more during "Going Green,'' a cleanup-your-city-and-recycling-day Saturday. Organizers say many items will be accepted free of charge.