David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 4 months
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.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council's Finance Committee on Monday met with Steve Wright of Westside Liquor to discuss Westside's failure of a recent compliance check during which a store employee sold alcohol to an underage person. Westside was the only alcohol retailer out of 20 on-sale and off-sale liquor establishments in the city that sold alcohol to someone under the legal age of 21 during the Willmar Police Department's compliance check on Oct.
The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has delayed voting on a proposed overall rate increase of 16 percent in city water rates. Water rates were last increased in 2007 by an overall 8.5 percent.
KANDIYOHI -- Kandiyohi Mayor Craig Aurand says he's proud of the city's new wastewater pipeline and pumping system and is pleased that most of the cost was covered by federal stimulus funds. "We were probably 60 percent of the way in our engineering design and they said if we can get a shovel in the ground by Aug. 1, you can have it. We scrambled and we got it done.
WILLMAR -- As a Willmar City Council member from Ward 2, Andrew Bjur believes he can do a lot of good for the city and says he'll be a champion for all citizens. "I feel like I can get things done. I know (city) staff really well. I've worked with them and we've accomplished things in the past,'' says Bjur, who is running against incumbent council member Ron Christianson in the Nov. 2 general election. Bjur feels he has a good chance of unseating Christianson, who is in his 16th year on the council.