David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
WILLMAR -- Ken and Cathy Balderston of rural Olivia are seeking customers in the city of Willmar who are interested in buying produce from their community-sponsored agriculture garden, also known as a CSA. Under the CSA program, customers pay a fee and receive fresh produce delivered to their door. The CSA is a new venture for the Balderstons who are entering their 14th year of selling produce. They sell at farmers markets in Redwood Falls, Olivia and Willmar. "We started with three coolers and a card table,'' Cathy Balderston said.
WILLMAR -- Staff from the city's Planning and Development Services Department will be driving through the neighborhoods during the next few weeks looking for properties in violation of exterior maintenance and storage regulations. "Every couple of years we've tried to do a complete sweep of the community just to restore neighborhoods to a basic standard of livability and attractiveness,'' says Bruce Peterson, department director. The city planner and two building inspectors will drive through the neighborhoods.
SPICER -- The state fire marshal's office is investigating the cause of an early Tuesday morning fire that destroyed the Michael and Deb Kueppers home on the west side of Nest Lake. Spicer Fire Chief Mike Holme said Deb Kueppers called at 1:31 a.m. and said the laundry room clothes dryer was on fire. She, her husband and son, George, left the house and were not hurt. Holme said the fire spread to the ceiling of the laundry room. Firefighters were on the scene until 4:30 a.m. But Holme said the fire flared up and firefighters were called again at 6:50 a.m.
WILLMAR -- An ordinance amendment intended to speed up the process for resolving violations of the housing maintenance and exterior storage code was approved Monday by the Willmar City Council. The code sets maintenance standards for foundations, exterior walls, roofs, doors and windows of structures. Exampl-es of violations in-clude peeling paint, missing sh-ingles, broken windows and doors. Examples of exterior storage violations are unlicensed vehicles, garbage and trash. The amendment was approved 6-0 after the council held a hearing to take comments from the public about the amendment
NEW LONDON -- The biggest thing surrounding suicide is why it happened and seeking to put the pieces back together, a grief specialist told a New London-Spicer audience Sunday night. "In the hundreds of people that I have sat with that have experienced a suicide of a loved one, they have never found the answer,'' said Roxann Storms, grief specialist with the Children's Grief Connection of St. Cloud. "They might get a clearer image, but it's trying to make sense of something that is incomprehensible," she said. " ...
WILLMAR -- Officials hope a proposed amendment to city ordinance will speed up the process for resolving violations of the housing maintenance and exterior storage code. The proposed amendment would change the penalty for first-time violators from a misdemeanor to a petty misdemeanor. The amendment is an attempt to move these minor violations through the court system more efficiently, according to Bruce Peterson, director of city planning and development services. Persons charged with a misdemeanor have the option of requesting a jury trial, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
WILLMAR -- A current city employee is among the candidates for the position of Willmar city administrator. Six candidates were selected Wednesday evening by the Willmar City Council for interviews. They are Steven Okins, finance director for the city of Willmar; Jeffrey O'Neill, administrator for the city of Monticello; James Payne, partner in Precision Organizing and Records Management, Rio Rancho, N.M.; Jeffrey Repp, administrator for the city of Cumberland, Md.; Charlene Stevens, assistant manager of Sedgwick County, Wichita, Kan.; and J.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members have selected six people for the first round of candidate interviews for the position of city administrator. The interviews are slated April 10 and 11. From those interviews, the council will select two finalists for a second interview on May 24. The second round will include community "meet-and-greet'' sessions. Council members made the selections and set the interview dates by consensus during an informal two-hour work session Wednesday evening with Sharon Klumpp, senior vice president of Springsted Inc. of St.
WILLMAR -- Last year, the city hired a local private contractor to provide additional street sweeping services. This year, no money was budgeted for additional sweeping services, the City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee was told this week. Committee member Ron Christianson asked Public Works Director Holly Wilson about the status of Cleaning and Restoration Services of Willmar, which provided the additional sweeping last year. Wilson said the company was hired on a one-year contract. The contractor was hired in hopes of removing finer materials with a vacuum-type street sweeper.
WILLMAR -- The $4.97 million preliminary budget for the western interceptor sewer line has been approved by the Willmar City Council's Finance Committee.