David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 3 months
WILLMAR -- Lyle Sande of Willmar said he was surprised when a UPS driver delivered a letter-size package to his door last month. The package contained an invitation from the government of the Netherlands. Sande and six other U.S. Army veterans in Minnesota were to be honored for helping liberate part of central Holland 65 years ago in a dangerous mission that involved more than 20,000 paratroopers. Sande recalls the fighting was a tremendous battle. "The Germans were waiting for us. They were not going to leave the country of Holland.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission members were glum over the demise of the Big Stone II power plant project compared with the upbeat prospect expressed two weeks ago that another partner could be found to replace the project's principal backer. During the Oct. 26 commission meeting, Bob Schulte, chief executive officer of Central Minnesota Municipal Power Agency of Blue Earth, indicated that a very strong prospect was being courted to take the place of Otter Tail Power Company of Fergus Falls. If steps proceeded positively, he said, Big Stone would be running in 2016.
WILLMAR -- Recently completed discussions with department heads have given the City Council's Finance Committee a better idea how budgetary reductions will affect community services next year. Committee members will use the information they've gathered over the past month to formulate a recommendation to the City Council on Mayor Les Heitke's proposed $22,086,858 budget for 2010. The committee will make the recommendation at a Nov. 23 meeting. The council will receive the recommendation on Dec.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities General Manager Bruce Gomm says he's disappointed and worried about the demise of the proposed Big Stone II power plant and transmission line project. "We were counting on that not only for Willmar's needs but for the whole region.
WILLMAR -- Area real estate agents say a bill that would extend and expand the first-time homebuyer federal tax credit would definitely help the housing market. As part of the government's efforts to encourage people to spend money to help revive the economy, the House voted 403-12 Thursday to expand a popular tax credit for homebuyers.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members want to know if small wind turbines would be allowed within the city limits even if the city has no ordinance to regulate turbines. That's the question council members have asked City Attorney Rich Ronning to answer. The question arose during a council hearing Monday night on a proposed ordinance that would regulate and set standards for smaller wind turbines in residential and commercial areas. Council members tabled the ordinance until they hear from Ronning. Mayor Les Heitke asked Ronning if turbines are allowed in the city without an ordinance.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an amended street closure policy that lets the council decide whether or not to close a street without fear of possible liability repercussions arising from the closure. The amended policy was approved 6-2 Monday night with Ron Christianson, Denis Anderson, Steve Ahmann, Tim Johnson, Jim Dokken and Rick Fagerlie in favor and Doug Reese and Bruce DeBlieck opposed. The revised policy would give the council discretion -- not allowed under the previous policy -- to close a thoroughfare or collector street for a city-wide function or for a private
WILLMAR -- There will be no cost-of-living salary increases for top city officials, department heads, first-line supervisors and confidential employees in 2010, the Willmar City Council has decided. The council voted Monday to extend the current terms and conditions of the employment agreements of City Administrator Michael Schmit, City Attorney Rich Ronning and number of other city employees. The extension was recommended by the council's Finance Committee.
WILLMAR -- The City Council's Community Development Committee will be asking the council to declare the Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios Church at 707 Litchfield Ave. S.W.
WILLMAR -- There will be more debate on a proposed revision to the street closure policy when the City Council meets on Monday night. The revised policy would give council members discretion -- not allowed under the present policy -- to close a thoroughfare or collector street for a city-wide function or for a private function. The present council-approved policy states that only low volume residential streets, dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs may be closed.