David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 9 months
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities' monthly principal and interest payments toward the planning process for the cancelled Big Stone II project have been reduced. The utility received a $50,464 refund from a fund balance and will use the refund to reduce the remaining monthly payments from $18,637 to $13,591, said Bruce Gomm, Willmar Utilities general manager. He said the payments will end Nov. 30, 2011. "That will be the finalization of the payments of the Big Stone project,'' Gomm told the Municipal Utilities Commission on Monday.
WILLMAR -- Willmar will be participating in a state-developed survey that will let local residents measure the performance of their city. The City Council voted to adopt performance measures developed by the state Council on Local Results and Innovations. The state council, created in 2010 by the Legislature to set performance benchmarks for city and county operations, in February released standards for counties and cities to measure the effectiveness of their services and to measure residents' opinions of those services.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved a series of ordinance amendments that alter the penalties for licensed liquor establishments that sell alcohol to minors.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved the Municipal Utilities Commission's request for a two-tier electric rate adjustment totaling 14 percent over the next 18 months. A 7 percent increase went into effect Wednesday for the remainder of 2011 and another 7 percent increase will go into effect Jan. 1 for all of 2012. The increases were approved by the utilities commission on June 13 but needed final approval from the council.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council Tuesday night approved a 14 percent increase in municipal electric rates over the next year and a half. Electric rates will go up 7 percent effective today for the remainder of 2011 and will go up another 7 percent effective Jan.
WILLMAR -- The city of Willmar could survive a short delay of several weeks or maybe a little longer in receiving the first of two local government aid payments if the budget stalemate between the governor and the Legislature results in a state government shutdown July 1. "It's a concern not only that there might be a delay in payments but sometimes I wonder if the real question is will there be a payment and that's what's really scary,'' says City Administrator Michael Schmit. Willmar is budgeted to receive LGA totaling $4.48 million in two payments, one in July and one in December.
WILLMAR -- A group of 25 administrators, staff members and teachers from area school districts told three state legislators Tuesday morning at Willmar School District headquarters to pass a budget and provide adequate funding for education. They said flat funding has forced schools to cut millions of dollars from budgets in recent years, increase class sizes, eliminate early childhood, elementary, middle school and high school opportunities, and lay off staff. Montevideo Schools Superintendent Luther Heller said class sizes in his district are 36 to 40 students in the high school and 25 to 3
WILLMAR -- A local task force has completed work on a plan of ideas to extend and improve the city's biking and walking trails. The goal of the plan is to have a trail and pedestrian-friendly community, says Matthew Johnson, community development director for Mid-Minnesota Development Commission of Willmar. "If these ideas were implemented over the next 10 to 20 years, with the key implementation ideas over the next five years, this would make Willmar a very nice place to live.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has adopted a position statement that says the old airport terminal and paved ramp area should be demolished and that the smaller hangar located nearby should be rehabilitated for an historic display about the airport and recognize a local family's contribution to aviation. The council voted Monday to adopt the position statement.
WILLMAR -- Two public hearings are being recommended to consider additional street reconstruction projects this year. The City Council's Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council set the hearings for July 5. The council will consider the recommendation at its regular meeting tonight. The first hearing will consider reconstruction of one block of 12th Street Southwest from Becker Avenue to Trott Avenue Southwest.