David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members want more discussion before deciding whether the police department should be trained to enforce federal immigration laws. Council members Monday night debated the possibility of contracting with U.S.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council member Steve Ahmann wants the Police Department to receive training from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to locally enforce federal immigration laws and deal with the issue of illegal immigration. "I'm a firm believer in giving police officers and the department the tools they need to help enforce the law. If that means more training, then give it to them.
WILLMAR -- A redesign concept for Becker Avenue would provide a calmer and greener environment for downtown, according to supporters of a streetscape improvement proposal. The concept for a redesigned Becker Avenue from Sixth Street Southwest to First Street envisions creation of a one-block market plaza that would also function as a street, development of a central park and promenade connection, the planting of more trees and a combination walking and biking trail. The concept was developed by the Hoisington Koegler Group of Minneapolis and presented this week to the Willmar City Council's
WILLMAR -- Willmar's two wind turbines will be shut down periodically this week for routine inspection and maintenance. One or both of the turbines will be down at any given time this week to allow the maintenance crew to enter and work on what they need to do, said Wes Hompe, staff electrical engineer with the Willmar Municipal Utilities. He said crews have tools, oil, filters and other items to do the work. The turbines have a schedule that requires certain maintenance procedures to be performed at regular intervals.
WILLMAR -- A South Dakota utility says it's interested in replacing the power that Willmar Municipal Utilities buys under a contract from another supplier that expires in five years. The unexpected interest expressed by Heartland Consumer Power District of Madison, S.D., in selling up to 30 megawatts of power to replace 30 megawatts from Great River Energy under a contract that expires in 2015 is very good news, said Bruce Gomm, Willmar utilities general manager. Gomm is pleased with Heartland's interest because Willmar had planned to replace GRE's contract with 30 megawatts from the propose
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Design Center has received a $5,000 grant from the Willmar Area Community Foundation to buy an electronic benefits transfer machine that will let Becker Market shoppers pay for their purchases with their debit cards. The grant will be used to buy the machine and to train Becker Market staff and vendors who sell their food and other wares at the summertime outdoor market in downtown Willmar. Besides accepting debit cards, the machine will accept the cards used by the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps. The U.S.
WILLMAR -- City Attorney Rich Ronning says the state Legislature and Gov. Tim Pawlenty's office did not adequately fund the state's judicial system in 2009. As was true for many other branches of government, there was a significant budget cut for the criminal justice system. The cut had a huge negative effect on the courts as well as on the Public Defender's Office, Ronning said. The Court Administrator's Office in Kandiyohi County now closes at 2 p.m. Fridays and sends its employees home without pay for the rest of the day, Ronning said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has authorized city staff to enter into discussions with the Willmar School District about the future of the Garfield School building, including possible acquisition of the property by the city. The school district has indicated an interest in disposing of the building at 512 Eighth St. S.W.
WILLMAR -- Margaret Latcham of Willmar and her brother, Francis Whetston of Lake Lillian, say they enjoy eating at McMillan's Restaurant in Willmar. Latcham says the wait staff is friendly "and Ron is really nice.'' Latcham was referring to Ron Guetter, who won't be leaving McMillan's anytime soon. He and his wife, Mary, both longtime McMillan's employees, recently bought the South First Street restaurant where they plan to continue providing good food and friendly service. The Guetters have been working at McMillan's since the restaurant opened 30 years ago.
WILLMAR -- Belle Plaine's experience with crash-reducing safety improvements at a highway intersection has apparently convinced the Willmar City Council to support similar safety improvements at the Business 71/County Road 24/23rd Street Northeast intersection. The council voted 8-0 Monday to support the design improvements known as No.