David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 7 months
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members reached a surprising consensus Wednesday evening when they agreed to discuss an offer of employment with one of six candidates the council interviewed this week to fill the position that will be vacated by the retirement of City Administrator Michael Schmit in July. The council interviewed three candidates Tuesday afternoon and interviewed three candidates Wednesday afternoon and had originally planned to call back two or three finalists for a second round of interviews on May 24 before making a decision. But council members surprised themselves, and t
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members began the process Tuesday of interviewing candidates to replace longtime City Administrator Michael Schmit who will retire at the end of July. Schmit has held the position since it was established in 1990 by the council. Six candidates were recommended by search consultant Sharon Klumpp, vice president of Springsted Inc. of St. Paul.
Almost every culture has its own type of clown. That's according to Randy Christensen of Willmar. And, Christensen knows something about clowns: he's been teaching and writing about clowning for years, and has performed in 25 states and four foreign countries -- all over the past 30-plus years. Clowns show themselves in different ways and provide stress relief, he said. "I really think that is my mission.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has ordered the improvement and reconstruction of 19th Street Northwest, which has been seriously damaged this spring by frost boils. City officials have said that more frost boils are damaging city streets this year. The council directed the engineering department to prepare plans and specifications for reconstruction of 19th Street. The work will be added to the list of 2011 street improvements. The council's order followed a public hearing Monday night.
WILLMAR -- The causes of flooding in the southeast quadrant of Willmar are complex and interconnected, ranging from very flat topography, increased runoff from impervious surfaces and under-sized storm sewers to high groundwater table, tight soils that restrict infiltration of water and few designated storm water detention ponds. However, an engineering consultant said there are a number of approaches that the city can take to eliminate or reduce the city's flooding problem. Steve Klein, vice president and senior civil engineer with Barr Engineering of Minneapolis, said his firm looked at se
WILLMAR -- Local elected officials agree that hiring a replacement for longtime City Administrator Michael Schmit, who will retire at the end of July, is the biggest issue facing the Willmar City Council right now. Council members who met Friday to discuss current challenges and future needs say the city continues to face issues relating to storm water flooding, increasing cost of electricity, revitalizing downtown, economic development, railroad crossing noise, diversity, transportation, privatizing government services, declining revenue and the level of city services. But filling the admin
WILLMAR -- The Charter Commission is recommending an amendment that would increase from 5 to 6 the number of affirmative City Council votes needed to override actions of the Municipal Utilities Commission, Rice Hospital Board and Planning Commission. Commission Chair Shawn Mueske says increasing the threshold to override those actions would be consistent with the charter's present threshold of 6 affirmative council votes needed to override the mayor's veto of any ordinance, resolution or motion. Charter changes require either a vote of the public or 8 affirmative council votes.
WILLMAR -- Requests to apply for and receive grants for the Willmar Police Department and Willmar Fire Department were approved this week by the City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee. The committee's actions are recommendations to the council. The council will consider the recommendations on Monday night. Police Chief David Wyffels received approval for a grant application through the Minnesota Institute of Public Health for reimbursing the cost of alcohol compliance checks. Wyffels said successful applicants will be reimbursed $30 per compliance check.
WILLMAR -- Growing up in poverty, Marv Otto didn't have much. But as an adult, he invested wisely and gave much to others. "Throughout his lifetime, he was very generous to many, many people and organizations in Atwater,'' recalls Arlys Winkelman of Atwater, a friend of Otto and his wife, Gladys, who many said inspired Marv's generosity. "If people were down and out, he'd probably go down to the grocery store and say, 'Here's a hundred dollars for groceries for so and so, and it's anonymous,''' says Winkelman.
WILLMAR -- The Federal Aviation Administration and the Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office are insisting the city of Willmar perform a more detailed analysis of reusing the old airport terminal, which in March was declared eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The FAA and the state want the city to analyze a minimum of three reuse options: warehouse or storage purpose; manufacturing; or a use that would require extensive rehabilitation. The City Council previously declared the terminal unsafe and uninhabitable and said the building should be torn down.