David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 4 years 6 months
WILLMAR -- More homeowners, renters and businesses in Willmar were unable to pay their utility bills in 2011 compared with the number that did not pay their bills during the previous two years. Every year, Willmar Municipal Utilities writes off a certain amount of uncollected bills, also known as bad debt, from mobile homes, houses, apartments and businesses. Accounts that have no activity for three months past the final date are written off.
WILLMAR -- Dave Baker thanked members of the Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission this week for electing him president for 2012. Baker was absent when the commissioners held their organizational meeting and elected officers earlier this month. Baker replaces Doug Lindblad as president. "I will do my very best to get through a rocky time right now,'' he said. "A lot of deci-sions have to be made and we need a lot of good leadership these next several months, es-pecially in the next couple of years as well.'' The commission on Dec.
WILLMAR -- A nearly $7 million project spread over four to six years is being proposed to improve the quality of water delivered by Willmar Municipal Utilities to its customers. The three-phase project would preserve the viability of the water system infrastructure and replace the core treatment process with biological filtration.
LITCHFIELD -- Bruce Cottington of Litchfield has been appointed state commander of the Minnesota chapter of the national Veterans of Underage Military Service. National Commander Dr. William C. Morgan of Galloway, Ohio, made the appointment. Veterans of Underage Military Service is an organization whose members were sworn into a branch of the U.S. armed forces before reaching the age of 17 for men, and age 20 for women, prior to 1948. Cottington was 16 when he joined the U.S.
WILLMAR -- The owner of a fire-damaged house has 30 days to either repair or remove the structure at 201 Havana St. N.E. in Willmar. The City Council this week declared the house an unsafe structure. Bruce Peterson, planning and development director, said the city's next step after the council made its declaration is to notify the owner, Maria Pedraza, that the house must either be repaired or removed. Pedraza's last known address is 201 Havana St. N.E.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council Tuesday night voted to order the city engineering department to prepare the 2012 improvement report.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Charter Commission will be taking to the voters the amended City Charter that failed to win City Council support earlier this month. The nine-member Charter Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to place the amended charter on the Nov. 6 general election ballot and to ask City Attorney Rich Ronning to draft the ballot question. The question would ask Willmar voters whether or not they approve the charter as amended. Charter Commission members asked that the draft question be ready for their discussion at the next meeting on Feb.
WILLMAR -- Mayor Frank Yanish broke two City Council 4-4 votes Tuesday night that will lead to hiring two replacement police officers. Yanish's votes came at the end of nearly an hour of discussion on a motion from the Labor Relations Committee to the officers. The committee supported a request from City Administrator Charlene Stevens and Police Chief David Wyffels to fill a patrol officer position vacated in July of 2011 and to replace a patrol officer position that will be vacated as of Jan.
WILLMAR -- Quam Construction of Willmar was called by Willmar Municipal Utilities today to repair a break in a 12-inch water main on Fourth Street Southwest between Minnesota Avenue and Monongalia Avenue Southwest. It was one of two water line breaks that happened Monday night or early today. Bart Murphy, superintendent of the utility's water and district heating department, says he believes external corrosion from the soil, and possibly frost action, caused the break in the ductile iron pipe, which was installed in 1977 under Fourth Street. Murphy said corrosion is not atypical in Willmar.
WILLMAR -- Fewer vehicles and a slower economy are posing challenges for used-car dealers. Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new car and used-car information, predicts used-car prices are expected to remain high for the next two to three years, due to a gradual decline in new-car sales dating to 2008, as well as a drop in the number of leased cars becoming available at the end of their contract terms. Kelley says the price of the average 1- to 3-year-old used vehicles has risen 15.8 percent per year.