David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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WILLMAR -- The Willmar Design Center is seeking a solution to watering downtown flowers now that a city Public Works watering truck along with 14 other vehicles are being eliminated from the city's vehicle fleet. But Design Center hopes to plant flowers this spring will hinge on fundraising efforts as the center's subsidy from the city has steadily decreased. "The Willmar Design Center Commons-Promotion Committee is currently doing stakeholder and friends of downtown fundraising,'' said Beverly Dougherty, the Design Center's half-time project coordinator.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday will receive an attorney's report of the investigation into allegations of misconduct by General Manager Bruce Gomm. Commission President Dave Baker said each commissioner should have received a copy of the report. Under state law, discussion of the report must be conducted in a closed meeting unless Gomm requests it be open.
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish has praised city staff for recommending a policy that will eliminate 15 vehicles from the city's fleet and save the city $281,652 in 2012 and an estimated $1,400 in insurance and licensing costs. In addition, the policy, adopted by the City Council Tuesday night, will reassign 9 vehicles as "general use'' vehicles that can be checked out and used by any city employee for city business. The mayor, in his annual State of the City message Feb.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Area Community Foundation announces it has been designated to receive the entire estate of Lake Lillian native and Willmar resident Alice Cox, who was 97 when she died Dec. 29. The gift of her estate, valued at more than $6 million, will double the Foundation's assets, according to a spokesman. "This is truly an extraordinary gift from an extraordinary woman," said Foundation Director Dean Anderson of Spicer.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council voted Tuesday to hold a hearing March 19 to take comments from the public on an ordinance that will redistrict the city's four wards. The ordinance would shift about 3.9 percent of the city's population into different wards and precincts to meet equal representation requirements. The shifting is the result of the 2010 Census, which the Constitution requires be conducted every 10 years to determine the number of representatives to Congress for each state based on the population. Census numbers are also used to provide equal representation for every state,
GROVE CITY -- A Grove City organization wants people to know that financial assistance is available to businesses interested in setting up shop or expanding here. The Grove City Economic Development Corporation was established in 1986 with the goal of providing financial support to existing and prospective businesses in Grove City.
WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar and the general manager of the Municipal Utilities who has been on leave pending an investigation of misconduct have been unable to reach agreement on a severance package. Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm says his attorney was contacted by an attorney for the city utility about settling on a severance package before an investigative report is completed later this month. After some negotiations, Gomm says he offered to walk away and give up his rights to sue if the utility honored a severance provision in his employment agreement. "I have no desir
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council is taking public comments on a redistricting proposal that would shift about 3.9 percent of the city's population into different wards and precincts to meet equal representation requirements. The shifting is proposed as a result of the 2010 Census. The U.S.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has taken the first step in a three-phase project designed to improve the quality of water delivered by the utility to its customers. The $146,500 cost of the first phase, which the Municipal Utilities Commission budgeted in 2012, covers the $68,606 cost of a consultant's agreement with Carollo Engineers of Walnut Creek, Calif., and nine-month rental from Carollo of a pilot treatment plant, a specially built miniature version of the proposed, large-scale treatment equipment. The overall project has been proposed to preserve the viability
WILLMAR -- The law firm investigating possible misconduct by Willmar Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm should complete its work by the end of this week, according to Municipal Utilities Commission President Dave Baker. In an update near the end of the commission's regular meeting Monday, Baker said the commission will receive a copy of the report in advance of the Feb. 27 regular meeting when the report will be discussed and some decisions made. Gomm was placed on 30-day paid administrative leave Dec.