David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
WILLMAR -- Some fees are increasing and some provisions are eliminated in changes that the Willmar City Council has made to the parking ordinance. One change eliminates the authority of the fire marshal to issue tickets for vehicles parking too close to a fire hydrant in an established fire lane. Willmar has not had a fire marshal for 10 years and the police department has been the agency enforcing that portion of the ordinance with or without the city having a fire marshal, says Police Chief David Wyffels. But the fine for parking in an established fire lane goes up from $5 to $20. "We ra
WILLMAR -- A Canadian company that makes Versatile tractors is coming to town. The company is buying the building that presently houses Willmar Fabrication in the industrial park and is buying some of Willmar Fabrication's equipment. Willmar Fabrication manufactures agricultural spraying equipment. Versatile will be retaining the 54 to 60 local manufacturing jobs. Willmar Fabrication began operation in 2005 in the former AGCO and Willmar Manufacturing building at 2500 Airport Dr. S.W.
WILLMAR -- Families and individuals receiving food assistance at the Willmar Area Food Shelf also need personal care items, and Girl Scout member Kalley Prahl, 13, of Willmar is telling people about it. She's talking to organizations and placing collection boxes around town where folks can drop off items like toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, shavers and shaving cream. Prahl took on the project to earn her Silver Award.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the chambers at the Municipal Utilities Building, 700 Litchfield Ave.
WILLMAR -- The keeper of the National Register of Historic Places has ruled the former terminal at the old Willmar airport is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The ruling favors a determination by the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office that the old hangar/terminal building is eligible for placement on the National Register. The City Council appealed the state agency's determination to the keeper and the keeper had 45 days to make a ruling. The question of whether the former hangar is historic has delayed the Federal Aviation Administration's release
WILLMAR -- Revenue from the utility replacement fee rather than flagging interest earnings from the community investment fund would be used to finance the city's share of street improvement costs under a proposal recommended by the City Council's Finance Committee. The committee voted Monday afternoon to establish the public infrastructure financing program.
WILLMAR -- Major power supplier Great River Energy is showing an interest in extending its power supply contract with Willmar Municipal Utilities beyond the 2015 expiration date. GRE, which supplies over half of the electricity used by Willmar electrical customers, approached Willmar Utility officials earlier this year and asked if Willmar would be interested in buying some of GRE's extra power. Up until that time, Willmar Utility officials had not received any such interest from GRE and had been spending much time gathering information, studying and discussing other power supply proposals.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council delayed action on the proposed 2011 street improvement program this week because the council did not have enough members present to cast 7 affirmative votes as required by the city charter. City Clerk-Treasurer Kevin Halliday said the charter requires 7 affirmative votes to order the improvement and only 6 members were present.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council is sending the facilities plan for the proposed $4.9 million western interceptor sewer line to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval. Deadline for submitting the plan is March 4. Officials say MPCA's approval will allow the plan to be placed on a state funding list. The vote to submit the plan was 6-0 with Steve Ahmann, Denis Anderson, Ron Christianson, Doug Reese, Rick Fagerlie and Tim Johnson voting in favor.
WILLMAR -- Studies show that new Americans do not take jobs away from native-born folks, says a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce official. The only exception is native-born folks who don't have a high school diploma. At that level there is some competition. "But the studies overwhelming show that immigrants fill jobs that are key to economic growth,'' says Bill Blazar, the chamber's senior vice president for public affairs and business development. For example, half the cows in Minnesota are milked by immigrants.