David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 1 year 4 months
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council on Monday night will consider an offer from Templo Mahanaim Assemblea de Dios of Willmar to give the piece of land occupied by Mahanaim's con-demned church building as a gift to the city. In a Nov. 19 letter, Mahanaim Pastor Hector Pinochet said he was authorized to put the gift offer in writing. Until a previous oral offer was made in writing, the city had said it would not halt the legal process to demolish the rundown church building at 707 Litchfield Ave.
WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee is continuing to discuss a City Council member's suggestion to charge property owners a fee if they receive service from the fire department. The committee met Monday with two local insurance agents who said most property hazard insurance policies provide coverage for fire department service fees if the policyholder suffers a loss. Bill Leindecker with Farm Bureau Insurance said $1,000 in coverage is built into the premium to cover fire department service fees. "If we're billed, we pay it,'' he said.
WILLMAR -- Representatives of Willmar's Green Mill Restaurant are asking the City Council to delay civil penalties for serving alcohol to a minor in violation of the restaurant's city liquor license. The council's Fi-nance Committee voted Monday ev-ening to recommend the council de-lay the civil penalties until the court decides an appeal by the Green Mill server of a criminal charge for serving alcohol to a minor.
WILLMAR -- Four Willmar Municipal Utilities power plant technicians have begun training in the operation and maintenance of the utilities' two new wind turbines. "Since we own it and operate it, we should also know how to work on them,'' said Wes Hompe, staff electrical engineer for the utilities, who also participated in the training.
WILLMAR -- Peter Molenaar hoped his son, Lester V. Molenaar, would become a good farmer. Although the younger Molenaar farmed for 19 years, his real interest was in business and inventions. "He always had an ambition to be in manufacturing,'' says Lester's son Steve, of Willmar. "His father got him started in farming, but he felt he never was a very good farmer, and he was inventing things back on the farm.'' Lester Molenaar, who started a toy manufacturing and specialty advertising business in Willmar in the 60s, died Nov. 15 at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar after an extended illness.
WILLMAR -- A member of the Storm Water Task Force is pleased the proposed 2010 city budget includes money to study recommendations for solving storm water flooding problems. "I think it's great,'' said task force member Joe Ridler. He was referring to a vote Monday by the City Council's Finance Committee to recommend the council increase the proposed 2010 property tax levy by $100,000 to update the 1998 draft watershed management report by Barr Engineering of Minneapolis. "The city's information is nine or 10 years old.
WILLMAR -- Next year will be a "down'' budgetary year for the Willmar Municipal Utilities, if the preliminary 2010 budget is any indication. The Utilities Commission received the preliminary 2010 budget on Monday and will act on the budget at the next meeting Dec.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has extended the deadline for the owner of the downtown John's Supper Club to have plans prepared for repairing the fire-damaged building. The previous council deadline ended Monday. The council approved a motion by Steve Ahmann to extend the deadline by 45 days for Paul Kidrowski to complete architectural and structural drawings and to obtain building permits. Ahmann and three other council members had been told at the council's Community Development Committee meeting on Nov.
WILLMAR -- The consultant working on a preliminary redesign concept of downtown Becker Avenue as a place for public festivals, markets, walkers and bikers believes investment by the public sector leads to investment by the private sector. "Anecdotally through working on projects like this for a couple of decades now, my experience is that when the public demonstrates a vision -- makes an investment in a public space -- private investment tends to follow that public vision,'' said Bruce Chamberlain, vice president of Hoisington Koegler Group Inc.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council has approved an order requiring the owners of the Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios Church to either make city-required safety and structural repairs to the deteriorating church building within 30 days or have the building at Seventh Street and Litchfield Avenue Southwest razed and removed if the owners choose not to make the repairs. The order, allowed under state law, was prepared by City Attorney Rich Ronning and approved by the council Monday night. The order states that unless Mahanaim Assamblea de Dios takes corrective action or the owners serve an answer o