David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 12 months
WILLMAR -- The wet, heavy snow that fell Tuesday night and Wednesday morning was the most difficult to push during this winter season, said Willmar Public Works Superintendent Ron Gilbertson. "There was so much moisture in it and so much ice underneath there that we were having a hard time,'' Gilbertson said Wednesday afternoon. "It probably took us an extra two hours to plow our routes because of the snow and the ice underneath it.
WILLMAR -- Although some people may not believe it, Willmar Municipal Utilities' two wind turbines during their second year of operation have been available for energy production 93 to 94 percent of the time compared to the national average of the mid-to-upper 80 percent range for turbines of similar size, according to Bruce Gomm, utility general manager. Gomm made the statement Monday during a status report on the turbine project to the Willmar City Council.
WILLMAR -- City Planning and Development Services Director Bruce Peterson disputes the 2010 U.S. Census preliminary population count for the city of Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities will receive a 12.38 percent rate of return on its investment in the CapX 2020 transmission line that a group of utilities proposes to construct between Brookings, S.D., and Hampton, Minn. Willmar will invest up to $12.3 million in the $750 million project. Willmar will not receive power supply from the 240-mile line, but revenue from ownership of the line will help Willmar offset increasing transmission costs, explains Bruce Gomm, municipal utilities general manager.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will be asked to repeal an ordinance that allows police officers to issue informal administrative citations rather than traditional criminal citations for violating certain petty misdemeanors. The request will be made to the council by the Public Works/Safety Committee. The panel voted this week to recommend the ordinance, enacted by the council in 2003, be repealed. The council will consider the recommendation Monday night. The committee supported a request by Police Chief David Wyffels to repeal the ordinance.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee took no action this week on the question of whether or not the council should end the city's one-half percent local option sales tax. "Do we want to do anything: stop collecting or continue collecting the tax?'' chairman Denis Anderson asked the committee. After committee members reviewed the history of the seven-year tax, received an update on revenue collected since the tax went into effect in 2006, and after hearing two committee members speak in favor of it, and in the absence of any motions, Anderson declared collections would cont
Updated: Fixes some percentage figures WILLMAR -- Kandiyohi County's population grew 2.5 percent while the city of Willmar grew 6.9 percent over the past decade, according to the 2010 U.S. Census. Willmar narrowly missed breaking the 20,000 level, growing from 18,351 in 2000 to 19,610 in the 2010. Kandiyohi County grew from 41,203 in 2000 to 42,239 in 2010. The community losing the biggest population share was Appleton, which lost more than half of its residents.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities' wind turbine No. 4 was shut down remotely by turbine supplier DeWind Company at the request of the utilities Monday evening. Wes Hompe, staff electrical engineer with the utility, requested the turbine be shut down. Hompe said he was contacted by the public via utility energy services representative Dave Opsahl about a problem with the turbine. The public reported hearing a clunk sound every time the blades made one rotation. The utility has two turbines -- No. 3 and No. 4 -- located just north of Willmar High School. No.
WILLMAR -- Two Willmar businesses will be making their presence known in Hollywood this coming May. Jennie-O Turkey Store of Willmar, a sponsor of the NBC television series "The Biggest Loser,'' will be providing two mobile kitchen trailers for an upcoming filming of the show.
WILLMAR -- Some fees are increasing and some provisions are eliminated in changes that the Willmar City Council has made to the parking ordinance. One change eliminates the authority of the fire marshal to issue tickets for vehicles parking too close to a fire hydrant in an established fire lane. Willmar has not had a fire marshal for 10 years and the police department has been the agency enforcing that portion of the ordinance with or without the city having a fire marshal, says Police Chief David Wyffels. But the fine for parking in an established fire lane goes up from $5 to $20. "We ra