David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission is slated to discuss on Tuesday the hiring of a firm to evaluate the current management and organizational structure. A rejected solar project is also on Tuesday's agenda after the City Council urged that the project be discussed again before a Dec. 31 deadline to apply for related grant funding. The commission voted Dec.
WILLMAR -- An attempt is under way to further explain the proposed solar energy project to Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission members after they voted this month to reject the project. Jim Losleben, vice president of business development for tenKsolar of Minneapolis, said he intends to meet individually with the seven commission members in an attempt to clear up what Losleben thinks is some misinformation about the project. The $1.2 million, 600-kilowatt project would produce enough energy to serve about 2,100 homes, according to tenKsolar. The system would provide electricity at a cost
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish has delayed acceptance of a letter of resignation from Municipal Utilities Commission member and President Doug Lindblad. Yanish says he wants to discuss with Lindblad the possibility of him continuing to serve on the commission at least while the commission deals with management and personnel issues.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has tabled proposed City Charter amendments until all eight council members can attend a council meeting. The council meets again on Jan. 3. The charter, which is the city's governing document, was last reviewed in 1993. Changes by council action require affirmative votes of all eight council members.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will take public comments during a hearing at 7:02 p.m. Monday to consider an ordinance amending the City Charter. The hearing will be held during the council's regular meeting in the chambers at the Municipal Utilities Building, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W. The amendments are being proposed by the Charter Commission, which was appointed by the council in October 2008 and assigned the task of revisiting and proposing amendments to the charter -- the city's governing document.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission this week rejected a proposal to construct a solar energy project at the site of the utility's two wind turbines on the north edge of the city. Commission Vice President Dave Baker said the project looked good from the standpoint of renewable energy, looked like a fair return and thought it was a good investment long term. But Baker cited a number of issues that the commission needs to take care of first. He said the utility is waiting for approval for the proposed $10 million power plant improvement project.
Willmar Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm believes friction between himself and longtime employees who resented his authority and supervision led to his being placed on a 30-day paid leave this week while the Municipal Utilities Commission investigates possible misconduct by Gomm. Another contributing factor, Gomm said, was that he voiced his disapproval of "inappropriate" discussions between those employees and some Municipal Utilities Commission members.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission Vice President Dave Baker said Tuesday that General Manager Bruce Gomm is not terminated. The commission acted Monday to place Gomm on 30 days' paid administrative leave while the co-mmission in-vestigates wh-at has been described as activities disruptive to utility operations. Baker said Gomm is not terminated, "nor are we looking long-term at this point.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission voted Monday to place General Manager Bruce Gomm on 30 days of paid administrative leave while the commission investigates concerns that were brought to the commission's at-tention regarding management. The 6-1 vote was taken on a motion by Dave Baker after the commissioners emerged from a half-hour closed meeting, which Baker requested. After they resumed their open meeting, the commissioners approved a motion by Baker that Gomm be placed on paid leave while the commission looks into activities that Baker said were disruptive to utility
WILLMAR -- Appreciation for diversity and local business investment, and lack of green space and misperception about safety were recurrent themes raised by participants attending a series of four downtown improvement meetings Wednesday and Thursday sponsored by the city of Willmar and Willmar Design Center. City and Design Center representatives met with more than a dozen African community members, and then met with a handful of Latino business and community people Wednesday night.