David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
WILLMAR -- Work on the city's new wastewater treatment plant will reach a milestone today when the structures at the site are energized for the first time with permanent power. Replacing temporary power with permanent power means construction of the structures and electrical and mechanical systems is substantially complete, says Rhonda Rae, program manager in the Willmar office of wastewater project consultant Donohue and Associates. Rae said work on the plant, in addition to construction of sewer lines leading to the plant and other associated projects, is on schedule and under budget.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities is obligated until November 2011 to continue making $22,806 monthly payments toward planning costs of the failed Big Stone II project, according to the head of one Big Stone partner. Monthly outlays by Willmar and 12 members of Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency of Blue Earth are paying off bonds that were sold to finance their share of planning costs for the $1.6 billion Big Stone proposal. The whole idea of financing was to make payments dependable for everybody in the interest of everybody, said Robert Schulte, Central Minnesota chief executive
MINNEAPOLIS -- A federal jury on Thursday in Minneapolis convicted a 71-year-old Spicer man of evading federal income taxes in 2002 and 2003. Robert Goris was found guilty of two counts of tax evasion following an eight-day trial. He was indicted on April 15, 2009. According to evidence presented at trial, Goris evaded more than $830,000 in income taxes for tax years 2002 and 2003, despite receiving income of more than $3.5 million in 2002 and income of more than $400,000 in 2003, said Jeanne Cooney, director of community relations for the U.S.
MINNEAPOLIS -- A federal jury in Minneapolis Th convicted a 71-year-old Spicer man of evading federal income taxes in 2002 and 2003. Robert Goris was found guilty of two counts of tax evasion following an eight-day trial. He was indicted on April 15, 2009. According to evidence presented at trial, Goris evaded more than $830,000 in income taxes for tax years 2002 and 2003, despite receiving income of more than $3.5 million in 2002 and income of more than $400,000 in 2003, said Jeanne Cooney, director of community relations for the U.S.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee is recommending the council renew the annual intergovernmental transfer payment agreement with Rice Memorial Hospital. Under a formula established in 2007, Rice pays the city an amount equal to .40 percent of prior year net assets, but at no time will the payment to the city be less than $200,000. The 2010 payment will be $205,664, according to information presented to the committee on Monday. The Municipal Utilities also makes an annual intergovernmental payment to the city.
WILLMAR -- An attorney for the Westwind low-income housing project says Willmar City Council approval is not required for the project to receive a $350,000 state grant as part of its financing package. The grant was to be passed through from the city to project developer Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership of Slayton under a cooperative agreement the council approved with the Minnesota Department of Em-ployment and Economic Development in 2008. The grant was to go to Southwest in the form of a loan that was to be secured by a mortgage between Southwest and the city.
WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar intends to amend its sign ordinance to reflect the most current sign technology. The Willmar City Council has set March 15 for the public hearing to consider an amendment to the sign ordinance that would allow animation in electronic signs but would prohibit rapid animation so as to not distract or mimic any emergency vehicles. The amendment was recommended by the Planning Commission. The amendment would better align the sign ordinance with current sign technology, explained Bruce Peterson, director of planning and development services. Council member Ron Chr
WILLMAR -- The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission has killed the certificate of need for the transmission lines that would have served the failed Big Stone II power plant in eastern South Dakota. But the PUC has kept the route permit for the transmission lines open for one year to give the power plant's partners time to find other parties that may want to construct the proposed lines. Bret Exnes, a PUC facility planner, said the situation is unusual. "I don't really have much for precedent regarding a certificate of need that we've issued that hasn't worked out and we've canceled it.
Vi and Kelly Klucas of Willmar were among nearly 200 people at Calvary Lutheran Church who recently waited on a Sunday night for volunteers to serve plates of cheesy chicken casserole and crunchy coleslaw, along with fruit salad, dinner roll, cookies and beverage. Calvary and other churches are participating in a program of serving free meals every month to hundreds of people in the community, including the Klucases. "It's a very good program,'' said Vi. "It's hard to believe they give something free. It's nice to get out. You always have somebody different at your table.
Twenty-eight years of generous community support have enabled the Willmar Area Food Shelf to provide emergency food assistance to thousands of Kandiyohi County families and individuals, according to Food Shelf staff and volunteers. A 25-year volunteer says assisting clients, stocking shelves and taking inventory is not difficult because she knows everybody will be served. "I don't know if there's ever been a time that I've been here that we haven't been able to serve a client, and that's cool,'' says the volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous. The Food Shelf was started in 1982 as a tempo