David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
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Walk around downtown Willmar, see points of interest and get some exercise -- all at the same time. That's the theme of Willmar Walks, three exact-mileage fitness and historic walking routes in and around the downtown area. The routes and 18 points of interest along the routes are shown on a banner hanging at Selvig Park downtown at Fourth Street and Becker Avenue Southwest. Brochures are available at Willmar Public Library, Lulu Bean's and Rick's Cycling & Sports Center. The routes are marked by triangular pavement logos.
Mayor-elect Frank Yanish says he's received a mandate from Willmar voters. Yanish, who easily defeated incumbent Mayor Les Heitke in the Nov. 2 general election, will be sworn in for the four-year term as mayor at the Jan. 10 City Council meeting. "We do believe that the people have spoken. We're going to do the best job that we can for the city of Willmar,'' he said. "In my opinion, we have received a mandate.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee will recommend that council members approve 12 leases on farmland surrounding the old and new airports and the new wastewater treatment facility. The committee will make its recommendation to the council at the 7 p.m. meeting on Monday in the chambers at the Municipal Utilities Building, 700 Litchfield Ave. S.W. Airport Manager/City Planner Megan Sauer told the committee this week that the city opened sealed bids on Sept. 10 from farmers interested in operating various tracts of land ranging in size from 10.62 acres to 162.36 areas.
WILLMAR -- Community Christian School in Willmar is asking the city to improve safety for students who cross busy 19th Avenue Southwest to get to and from the school. School Administrator Del Brouwer says more students are now crossing 19th Avenue because the state eliminated crossing hazardous streets as a reason for busing students. Because of this, the school now has more students that walk, ride bike or are driven by parents, he said. Brouwer discussed his concerns with the City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee this week. He said 21 students live south of 19th Avenue.
WILLMAR -- Frank Yanish received 4,121 votes and incumbent Les Heitke received 2,447 votes in the race for the four-year term as mayor of Willmar in Tuesday's general election, according to ballots officially canvassed Friday by the Willmar City Council. The totals are comprised of precinct count and absentee ballot count. Willmar has 12 precincts. Yanish received a precinct count of 3,786 and an absentee ballot count of 335 for a total of 4,121 votes.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members are continuing their discussion on the possibility of merging the City Assessing Department with the Kandiyohi County Assessor's Office. During their regular meeting this week, council members indicated they want more information before making a decision, and they returned the issue to the Labor Relations Committee for more study. City Administrator Michael Schmit and County Administrator Larry Kleindl have said they spent about a year carefully studying the merger idea with participation from city and county employees. Although Schmit and Kleindl det
WILLMAR -- In the only contest among the four open seats, Ward 2 incumbent Ron Christianson, 60, was re-elected to a fifth four-year term on the Willmar City Council, handily defeating challenger Andrew Bjur, 1,447 to 570, according to unofficial returns in Tuesday's general election. Christianson, who is completing his 16th year on the council, was elected in 1994 and up until this year had been re-elected without opposition.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council approved motions Monday declaring the old airport terminal unsafe and requesting the Federal Aviation Administration to release the decades-old terminal to the city so it can be demolished. The motions were based on a consultant's analysis that showed the old terminal had extensive mold and structural problems that city staff estimated would cost between $600,000 and $1.3 million to bring up to code. The terminal has been at the center of a disagreement for the past couple of years be-tween the city and state and federal aviation and historic officials ove
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Community Development Committee is recommending the council declare the old airport terminal building unsafe. The committee will also recommend the council request that the Federal Aviation Administration immediately release the terminal property to the city to allow for abatement of the health hazard and demolition. The council will receive the recommendations at 7 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Unspent 2008 funds would pay for Swansson Field and Taunton Stadium improvements, if the Willmar City Council approves a recommendation from the Public Works/Safety Committee. The improvements were proposed by Steve Brisendine, director of Community Education and Recreation, and Ron Gilbertson, public works superintendent. They proposed the funds be reappropriated for two projects that could be done yet this fall. One project is installation of an irrigation system in Swansson's yellow softball field.