David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
- Member for
- 2 years 3 weeks
WILLMAR -- Just as plaque buildup in arteries restricts blood supply and can cause a heart attack, accumulation of fats, oils and grease in sewer lines can cause health hazards, damage home interiors and threaten the environment. "Think about it like heart disease,'' says Chris King, an operator at Willmar's Wastewater Treatment Plant. "If you put a lot of fats, oils and grease in your body, it's going to clog your arteries.
WILLMAR -- Officials say the five-mile-long sewer line that will carry municipal waste to the new wastewater treatment plant located west of Willmar is substantially completed -- three months ahead of schedule. Sewer line contractor S.R. Weidema of Maple Grove notified the city that the 29,145-foot-long interceptor sewer line is ready for its intended use of carrying municipal waste to the new treatment plant.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Police Department Capt. David Wyffels is being recommended for appointment as police chief, and long-time City Administrator Michael Schmit has given notice he'll be retiring next year. Wyffels' appointment was recommended Wednesday by Schmit to the City Council's Labor Relations Committee. The committee voted to support the appointment, which the council will consider July 6. If the council approves the appointment, Wyffels will replace Chief Jim Kulset who will retire July 23 after 33 years of police work, including 11 years as chief.
The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council ask citizens to rank the city's 10 most important programs or activities. Their comments will guide Mayor Les Heitke and council members as they prepare the 2011 city budget. If the council enacts the proposed survey, citizens will also be asked if they support a tax increase, fee increases, or cuts in municipal services if Local Government Aid paid by the state of Minnesota is reduced.
WILLMAR -- Willmar Municipal Utilities was one of many municipal utilities in the state that sent employees to provide mutual aid and help restore power to the tornado-ravaged city of Wadena. The Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association called for mutual aid after the tornado struck Wadena on June 17 and crews from Willmar, Moorhead, Sauk Centre, Elk River, Detroit Lakes, Melrose and other utilities answered the call. Two Willmar linemen, Zach Larson and Casey Jenny, and a double-bucket truck left Willmar at 4:30 a.m. on June 20 and returned to Willmar at 10 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Discussions are continuing on the possibility of establishing a cooperative grocery store with a local foods focus. The idea for the store grew out of a desire by vendors at the summertime Becker Market to have a year-round outlet for their products. People interested in establishing a cooperative grocery store met for seven hours this week with a financial consultant with experience in starting and sustaining food co-ops. The meeting was sponsored by the Willmar Design Center and Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. The group of 13 people receiv
WILLMAR -- Wet soil caused a portion of the foundation of an older house to fail Wednesday at 933 2nd St. S.E. Bruce Peterson, director of city planning and development services, said the city has a lot of expansive soil that swells when it becomes wet. The swelling exerts pressure on foundations and sometimes squeezes the water through the foundation and pushes walls in. The house is a vacated rental property. City Building Official Randy Kardell worked with utility companies to have the gas, water and electricity disconnected.
WILLMAR -- Pressure from rain water backing up in the storm sewer caused the road surface to buckle early Wednesday morning in the intersection of 10th Street and Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest in Willmar. Public Works Director Mel Odens explained that pressure from backed up storm water forced water to escape around the manhole casting below the street surface and caused a portion of the road surface to break apart. Odens said the surface was made passable Wednesday and the casting will be repaired as soon as possible.
WILLMAR -- Willmar officials will decide if the old wastewater treatment plant site will be prepared to allow for future development of a storm water detention area to alleviate some of the city's storm water flooding problems. The old treatment plant will be decommissioned after the new wastewater treatment plant located west of the city begins operating later this year. Closing the old plant has, from the beginning, been part of the $86.2 million program to build the new plant and conveyance system, ac-cording to officials.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar City Council unanimously defeated a motion Monday night to declare two abandoned mobile homes unsafe in violation of city exterior storage and exterior maintenance ordinances. Instead, the council voted 8-0 to return the concept of removing unsafe mobile homes and subsequent removal costs to the Community Development Committee for more discussion. The committee had recommended the council declare a mobile home in Regency East and a mobile home in Regency West as unsafe and unfit for human habitation.