David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 6 months
The city of Willmar rec-eived approximately 41 inches of snow from Nov. 29 through Jan. 1 compared with about 25 inches for the same period one year ago.
WILLMAR -- Should the Willmar City Charter continue to require that people appointed to city boards and commissions live within the city limits? That's a question members of the Charter Commission and City Council discussed but reached no consensus on during a 90-minute work session Wednesday night at the Fire Station. The idea of amending the residency requirement was raised at the Dec. 7 Charter Commission meeting by member John Sullivan, according to City Clerk Kevin Halliday. The commission did not discuss the issue but placed it on the catalog of items to be discussed at the Jan.
WILLMAR -- The city asked congressional lobbyist David Turch last year to request $9.7 million in federal money for five local projects, including $2 million for the new wastewater conveyance and treatment system. None of the requests has yet been approved. City Administrator Michael Schmit said the city asked for the wastewater money, recognizing that Congress has authorized but not appropriated the original $15 million request for the $86.2 million project. "We'll chip away at it if we can, but we all know what is happening at the federal and state level,'' Schmit told the City Council's
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission will negotiate a settlement rather than fight the U.S.
WILLMAR -- Willmar City Council members say they want questions answered about a water rate increase of 9 to 10 percent a year over two years being proposed by the Willmar Municipal Utilities. Council members would like to know why the utility did not enact smaller annual increases rat-her than wait two years before enacting a larger increase and they would like to know what the utility is doing to control costs. Finance Committee members asked the same questions when they met with Utility General Manager Bruce Gomm on Dec. 13.
WILLMAR -- Dean Peterson of Glenwood grew up in Kerkhoven but hung out as a kid on Fourth Street in downtown Willmar. "If you wanted to be where the action was, you went to Fourth Street,'' recalls Peterson, 55. "That was before the Kandi Mall was built. It was a happening place. All the main businesses were right there.'' One of those businesses was the Willmar Theater, a grand place to watch movies, as many locals will testify. The theater was closed in 1980 and the building was converted into office space known as Heritage Square.
WILLMAR -- Eleven units are rented and four more units will be rented by the end of the month at the new Westwind Townhomes low-income housing development in southwest Willmar. The $5,377,000 development consists of 14 structures. Each structure has two rental units for a total of 28 units.
WILLMAR -- The Westwind development is offering affordable single-family housing opportunities as well as affordable rental housing. Homeownership is more affordable because developer Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership established a "partnership community land trust'' for the nearly 17-acre development that's officially known as Westwind Estates Third Addition Community Land Trust. The Westwind Estates Third Addition Community Land Trust has townhomes for rent and single-family homes for sale. There are two distinct ownerships: the townhomes are owned by Westwind Estates Townhomes Limi
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council on Wednesday voted 4-3 to hire Springsted Inc. of St. Paul to assist the council in the search for a candidate to replace long-time City Administrator Michael Schmit. Schmit will retire on July 31 after serving 36 years with the city including 20 as administrator. Voting in favor were Doug Reese, Denis Anderson, Tim Johnson and Steve Ah-mann. Voting ag-ainst were Ron Chr-istianson, Rick Fa-gerlie and Jim Dok-ken.
WILLMAR -- City Administrator Michael Schmit is proposing the Willmar City Council hold a work session to discuss the topic of privatizing public services and to specifically focus on public works and park mai-ntenance. Some council members and Mayor-elect Frank Yanish are suggesting the city explore the possibility of privatizing services as a way to increase efficiency and cut costs during a time of reduced tax revenue. "We have to think differently and operate differently in this day and time,'' said Denis Anderson, chairman of the council's Finance Committee.