David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 3 years 8 months
WILLMAR -- A Saturday afternoon thunderstorm produced numerous funnel clouds and one tornado that touched down and damaged a farm between Milan and Big Bend. No injuries were reported. A Chippewa County Sheriff's Office dispatcher said the first call was received at 3:11 p.m. Saturday. "There were funnel clouds all over,'' the dispatcher said Sunday, but the only touchdown occurred at the farm where a barn and granaries were damaged. A deputy checked the scene, but no other details were available Sunday. At 4:04 p.m.
WILLMAR -- As part of the effort to create the most effective and efficient department possible, the Willmar Police Department will be replacing two part-time summer bike patrol employees with one year-round, part-time community service officer. The two bike patrol positions are being replaced because less bicycle traffic and other factors have greatly diminished enforcement of bicycle laws, says Police Chief David Wyffels. This reduction in bicycle violations has shifted employee needs to other areas, and enforcement of bicycle laws can be effectively performed by any community service offi
WILLMAR -- Local residents appear satisfied with and excited about a proposed plan to redevelop and revitalize downtown Willmar. The plan was presented at a public meeting Wednesday night. "I think it's a great plan and I'm excited to support it any way I can,'' said Mitra Engan, whose family lived in Willmar 38 years ago when the downtown was the hub of the city. "There was a real sense of community.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has authorized city staff to negotiate a five-year professional services agreement with a consultant for airport engineering and planning services after council members asked a few questions related to the agreement. Council member Ron Christianson said he was unaware of the agreement until he read in the Tribune last weekend that the agreement was on the council's Monday night agenda.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has let stand the Planning Commission's approval of the conditional use permit requested by the Islamic Society of Willmar to establish a mosque and education center in the former Lafayette Elementary School building. The council Monday night voted to approve the minutes of the March 28 meeting of the Planning Commission when the society's request for the conditional use was approved, and the council approved the minutes of the April 11 meeting when the commission made seven affirmative findings of fact required to approve the permit. The Planning Commissi
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish says a proposed plan has options to help solve downtown's problem: "The problem being that we have to give people a reason to go downtown and make it easy to get downtown,'' he says. The plan will be the topic of a public meeting at 7 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Willmar's attempt to organize a community-owned grocery store where locally grown foods are sold is attracting international attention. Later this month, Daisuke Asano, overseas researcher for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry for the government of Japan, will be in Willmar to learn how local farmers sell directly to the public. Asano will be looking at the local foods system, according to Beverly Dougherty, project coordinator with the Willmar Design Center. The center sponsors the downtown Becker Market where area farmers and vendors sell their crops and wares to the
WILLMAR -- Six recommended improvements in internal accounting controls were approved Monday by the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission. The changes were recommended by Conway, Deuth and Schmiesing, PLLP, certified public accountants of Willmar. The certified public accounting firm conducted the utility's 2011 audit and reported its findings at the March 26 commission meeting.
Willmar is the only location in North America where farm implement and tractor maker Buhler Industries Inc. of Winnipeg, also known as Buhler Versatile USA in Willmar, is manufacturing the company's line of sprayer applicator products. The Willmar plant, located at 2500 Airport Dr. S.W., is the former site of Willmar Fabrication. Willmar Fabrication had been producing product for Buhler Industries.
The following affirmative findings of fact were made by the Planning Commission: n That the conditional use, with attached conditions, conforms to the purpose and intent of the zoning ordinance and is in conformity with the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan because residential zoning districts permit places of worship. n That there was no factual demonstration of a substantial/appreciable negative impact on values to properties in the neighborhood from the proposed conditional use because no property value facts or appraisal testimony was given to prove otherwise. n The conditional use wil