David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members delayed a decision Monday on selecting a law firm to replace Rich Ronning, who retires March 31 after serving as city attorney for the past 37 years. They voted 4-3 during a special session prior to Monday night's regular meeting to interview Anderson Law Offices of Willmar. Anderson would be the third law firm to be interviewed. Representatives of the law firms of Flaherty and Hood of St.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Food Shelf has set an ambitious fundraising goal of a quarter million pounds of food and dollars during the 30th annual Minnesota FoodShare Campaign. The March campaign helps restock Minnesota's 300 food shelves. "Last year we ended up at the very last day of the campaign at over 220,000 pounds and dollars,'' says Christie Kurth, Willmar Food Shelf executive director.
WILLMAR -- Local veterans are seeking City Council approval to install new lights at the Flags of Honor. The flags honor individuals who have served their country. The flags and poles were moved from Sperry Park and placed at the current site on North Business 71 where veterans erected light poles more than 30 years ago to highlight the flags.
WILLMAR -- Two law firms proposing to provide city attorney services have made their pitch to members of the Willmar City Council, and council members will make a decision next week prior to the regular meeting. Representatives of Flaherty and Hood of St. Paul and Anderson, Larson, Hanson and Saunders of Willmar were interviewed Thursday during a two-hour special meeting. Council members attending the interviews were Bruce DeBlieck, Tim Johnson, Jim Dokken, Steve Ahmann, Ron Christianson and Doug Reese. Denis Anderson and Rick Fagerlie were absent.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission will meet at 11:45 a.m. Monday in the utilities building auditorium, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W. The commission will consider a request to approve a $9,100 consulting contract with Burns and McDonnell Engineering to accomplish the compliance audit of chlorine processes at the southwest and northeast water treatment plants. The audit is required every three years by federal regulation.
WILLMAR -- Willmar will participate in a statewide citizen-driven program that focuses on local government opportunities to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases. The Minnesota GreenStep program provides cost-effective sustainable development best practices in the categories of buildings and lighting; transportation; land use; environmental management; and economic and community development. A resolution authorizing the city to participate was approved Monday night 8-0 by the City Council. The GreenStep program stems from a 2008 state law that directed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agenc
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will meet at 4:45 p.m. today to interview applicants for the position of city attorney that will be vacated when longtime City Attorney Rich Ronning retires on March 31. The council had authorized city staff to request proposals from law firms interested in filling the position and three proposals were received from the law firms of Flaherty and Hood of St. Paul; Anderson, Larson, Hanson and Saunders of Willmar; and Couri and Ruppe of St.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council met in closed session for about 35 minutes Monday night with attorney Paul Reuvers of Bloomington to discuss the discrimination and breach of contract lawsuit filed Friday by fired Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm. The council first approved a motion offered by council member Denis Anderson to add to the agenda the intention to hold a closed session to discuss the lawsuit. The council then approved a motion by Anderson to go into closed session pursuant to the attorney-client privilege as allowed by state statute Section 13D.05 to discuss the
WILLMAR -- The fired general manager of the Willmar Municipal Utilities has filed a lawsuit against the city of Willmar and the utilities alleging discrimination, breach of contract, fraud, and violation of the Open Meeting Law. The lawsuit filed by Bruce Gomm also alleges defamation and specifically alleges defamation by Mayor Frank Yanish and City Council member Ron Christianson. The lawsuit filed Friday by Gomm in Kandiyohi County District Court asks the court for a judgment of more than $50,000, for reinstatement of his position with front pay and back pay and for a full one year's sever
WILLMAR -- The 85-year-old Lakeland Hotel, the downtown home to traveling salesmen, lakes-area visitors and a variety of retail stores, has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. The Lakeland was nominated in November by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office. The Minnesota Historical Society State Review Board approved and sent the nomination to the keeper of the National Register, who approved and added the Lakeland to the register on Feb. 14. The Lakeland was nominated for its local significance in the area of commerce.