David Little covers the Willmar City Council, Willmar Municipal Utilities and other city news.
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Officials say construction is on schedule and on budget for Willmar's new $86.2 million wastewater treatment plant and conveyance system. With the exception of recent heavy rain that slowed work, progress has been good, said Aaron Nelson, field engineer for Graham Construction Services of Eagan, the project's general contractor. "We've been fortunate to have a dry summer, a dry spring,'' Nelson said.
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission has approved a 5 percent commissioning payment to a contractor for the city's two new wind turbines. The $235,627 payment to turbine contractor DeWind of Irvine, Calif., was approved by the commission during a special meeting Friday. The commissioning process involves testing the different functions of the turbines before the turbines begin producing power, said Bruce Gomm, Municipal Utilities general manager. "Most people are probably aware that for the last month or so, there have been a lot of starts and stops,'' Gomm said.
WILLMAR -- Two Willmar City Council committees are recommending actions that could lead to completion of a draft storm water management plan and implementation of storm water improvements. The Public Works/Safety Committee is recommending the council approve an agreement with Barr Engineering of Minneapolis to update the city's draft 1998 watershed management report to improve delivery of storm water-related services, infrastructure and regulatory compliance. To pay for the study and storm water improvements, the Finance Committee, in a separate action, is recommending that Mayor Les Heitke'
WILLMAR -- There was praise aplenty as an estimated 250 to 300 citizens and local and state officials gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate and dedicate Willmar Municipal Utilities' two new wind turbines. "I certainly think they're awesome,'' said Elaine Frank of Willmar, standing with her husband, Myron, next to one of the 262-foot tall turbines. "As a woman's point of view, they look magnificent. But I think the real value is in the alternative energy we get from it.
WILLMAR -- Longtime Willmar businessman Walt Gislason has sold his gas station, convenience store, car wash and oil change business at the corner of First Street and Willmar Avenue South to four employees and another local business owner. The business was bought by Mike Brown, owner of Floor to Ceiling Store, and by convenience store/gas station manager Jeff Armstrong, general manager Scott Barney, office manager Ruth Smith and oil change manager Matt Evans. Brown said the sale was closed Monday and takes effect today. He said the new owners do not plan to change the name of the business.
WILLMAR -- Energy is an important issue for young people like Landon Peterson. That's why, when Willmar Municipal Utilities dedicates its two new wind turbines Thursday afternoon, Peterson and 11 other Willmar Senior High School students will be promoting what they and others see as the need for a comprehensive national energy plan. "We need a plan for the security of our future,'' Peterson says. "Our generation is going to need to be involved. It can't only be something for our parents.
WILLMAR -- Longtime Willmar businessman Walt Gislason has sold his gas station, convenience store, car wash and oil change business at the corner of First Street and Willmar Avenue South to four employees and another local business owner. The business was bought by Mike Brown, owner of Floor to Ceiling store, and convenience store/gas station manager Jeff Armstrong, general manager Scott Barney, office manager Ruth Smith and oil change manager Matt Evans. Brown said the sale was closed today and takes effect Tuesday.
WILLMAR -- Due to extenuating circumstances, the city will delay enforcement of civil penalties against the Double D Club of Willmar for allegedly serving alcohol to an underage patron until criminal charges for serving to an underage patron are decided. The situation facing the club was discussed Monday af-ternoon by the Willmar City Council's Finance Co-mmittee. The committee de-cided to delay enforcement of the ordinance's civil penalties pending the court's decision on criminal charges. The club is owned by Duane Duenow of Arlington. No one from the club attended the committee meeting.
NEW LONDON -- Unique Amish furniture, locally produced art, home décor and gifts are awaiting customers at the new Three Sisters Furnishings of rural New London. The store is located in the former Cedar Inn restaurant at the corner of U.S.
WILLMAR -- Reconstruction of Trott Avenue Southwest from 10th Street to 16th Street in Willmar will start Wednesday, according to Mel Odens, city public works director. Work will begin in a two-block stretch from 10th Street to 12th Street and will continue in two-block increments. The city anticipates reconstruction will be completed -- weather permitting -- by Nov. 13. Five contractors submitted bids for the project, estimated by the city at $1.1 million. Duininck Inc. of Prinsburg was awarded the contract for submitting the low bid of $933,522, about $180,000 below estimate.