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WILLMAR — The overcast and slightly cool weather didn't deter a large, celebratory crowd gathering Wednesday afternoon at Rice Park in Willmar to officially cut the ribbon on the completed project which saw the installation of a splash pad and the construction of a new three-season shelter. Dozens of kids, with the adults watching, were already enjoying the water features at the splash pad. "Positive things happen when you get families outside, enjoying the outdoors," Mayor Marv Calvin said.
WILLMAR — Invest in Willmar, a citizen group formed to help pass a 0.5 percent local option sales tax this fall, shared their vision Monday with the Willmar City Council for what the tax could make possible in Willmar. The trio of Willmar residents who formed the group — Matt Dawson, Tony Amon and Jon Konold — want to get not only City Council approval of the ballot question, but also buy-in for the ideas. "The last thing we want to do is campaign against council members," Dawson said during the City Council work session Monday.
WILLMAR — All residents who have an opinion regarding the possibility of a new Willmar City Hall, either for or against, are urged to attend a town hall meeting at 5 p.m June 26 at the Willmar Fire Hall. The invite comes directly from the Willmar City Council, whose members are hoping to gather public input on not only possible sites but also on the project itself.
WILLMAR — It took over two years before it was completed, but the community will soon be able to celebrate the grand opening of the updated Rice Park in Willmar. While the splash pad has been open the past few weeks, an official grand opening event will take place at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the park located on the block of Kandiyohi Avenue Southwest between Second and Third streets.
WILLMAR — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has fined Willmar Municipal Utilities $1,115 for an emissions violation that occurred in June 2015. Janell Johnson, Willmar Municipal Utilities compliance officer and human resources administrator, said the emissions of Boiler 3 in the power plant measured filterable particulate matter at 0.64 pounds per million British thermal units on June 16, 2015, higher than the 0.60 allowed by permit. Filterable particulate matter is solid or liquid matter found in the emissions from the boiler.
WILLMAR — An arbitrator, following a months-long investigation, ruled Thursday that Willmar Municipal Utilities had justification to fire Jon Folkedahl, director of electrical operations, in February due to a long list of alleged transgressions. Those included an incident regarding Boiler 3 at the power plant back in December, employee treatment, plant safety and incomplete and late reports.
WILLMAR – The Willmar City Council will meet at 5 p.m. Monday in the board room at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building for its work session. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m. in the same location.
WILLMAR – When Steve Brisendine arrived in Willmar as the Willmar Public Schools community education director in July 1999, one of his first major projects was researching whether merging community education and the city’s recreation department into one entity made sense. By March 2000, the answer was yes, and Willmar Community Education and Recreation was born with Brisendine as its first director.
WILLMAR — For the third year, Willmar Community Education and Recreation, the Kandiyohi County Area Family YMCA and the Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office are partnering together to offer basic water safety lessons to Willmar children and their parents. From 9:30 to 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Dorothy Olson Aquatic Center participants will learn the importance of water safety skills during community water safety awareness classes. "We are very appreciative we can work on it together," Pam Vruwink from WCER said.
WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council continued to discuss a new city hall during the work session on Monday, though there was no consensus on how or when the project will move forward. However, the discussion will be picked up again during next Monday's meeting, when the council will decide whether to hold a town hall on the issue later this month. "We need to make sure we do this right," Councilor Audrey Nelsen said. There were multiple opinions about the project, from how fast it is moving to possible sites.