David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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WILLMAR -- A group of 25 administrators, staff members and teachers from area school districts told three state legislators Tuesday morning at Willmar School District headquarters to pass a budget and provide adequate funding for education. They said flat funding has forced schools to cut millions of dollars from budgets in recent years, increase class sizes, eliminate early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school opportunities, and lay off staff. Montevideo Schools Superintendent Luther Heller said class sizes in his district are 36 to 40 students in the high school and 25 to 3
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has adopted a position statement that says the old airport terminal and paved ramp area should be demolished and that the smaller hangar located nearby should be rehabilitated for an historic display about the airport and recognize a local family's contribution to aviation. The council voted Monday to adopt the position statement.
WILLMAR -- Two public hearings are being recommended to consider additional street reconstruction projects this year. The City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council set the hearings for July 5. The council will consider the recommendation at its regular meeting tonight. The first hearing will consider reconstruction of one block of 12th Street Southwest from Becker Avenue to Trott Avenue Southwest.
WILLMAR -- Fines would increase for establishments that illegally sell alcohol to underage individuals under proposed amendments to Willmar's liquor license ordinance. However, liquor license suspension and revocation would be eliminated under the proposed change. The penalty for the first violation would remain the same as it is now, in which a written warning is sent to the license holder and an appearance is required by the license holder at a council committee meeting -- traditionally the Finance Committee -- to explain measures taken by the license holder to eliminate further violations
WILLMAR -- Proposed amendments to Willmar's liquor license ordinance would increase fines for illegally serving minors, but eliminate liquor license holders from having their license suspended or revoked. The penalty for the first violation would remain the same -- a written warning. The proposed changes and additions for subsequent violations are as follows: - Second violation -- increase in fine from $750 to $1,000 and eliminate a five-day license suspension. - Third violation -- increase in fine from $1,500 to $2,000 and eliminate a 10-day suspension. - Fourth violation -- fine set at
WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council set July 5 as the date for a public hearing to consider a two-step electric rate increase for Willmar Municipal Utilities. The committee heard Utility General Manager Bruce Gomm discuss the reasons for the increases and voted Monday af-ternoon to recommend the hearing date. The council will consider the recommendation on June 20. City Ad-ministrator Michael Schmit said the utility commission held its public hearing Monday noon.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has approved a two-step electric rate increase of 7 percent in July for the remainder of 2011 and a 7 percent increase effective Jan. 1, 2012.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities hopes to construct a building next to the power plant to store coal and eliminate dust and storm water runoff concerns. The project is among improvements, including new emission controls, being proposed for the plant. The plant burns gas and coal to generate electricity and provide hot water for the central heating district.
I grew up during the 1950s and '60s in the Camden area of North Minneapolis and moved away in 1968 after high school.
WILLMAR -- Bids are due next week from contractors interested in repairing larger frost boils among the dozens of frost boils that erupted in Willmar's city streets this spring. The City Council has authorized city staff to advertise for bids from contractors interested in repairing frost boils and utility cuts, and voted to transfer $352,000 from the WRAC 8 reserve to a project budget to pay the cost. City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city will rely on a private contractor to perform much of the repair work and particularly in areas where the frost boils are larger.