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UPTOWN WILLMAR

The Willmar Planning Commission on Wednesday took its first look at proposed changes to the lots that make up the Uptown Willmar mall property. The owner of the mall, RockStep Capital, wants to create five separate lots, including one for the old Pizza Hut, which could soon be home to Slim Chickens.
The holiday season brings many special festivities. From family gatherings to school concerts, community celebrations to church programs, there are many events in which people may choose to participate.
For the 11th year, the Saturday after Thanksgiving is being promoted as Small Business Saturday, a day shoppers are urged to shop at small, independent and local retailers for that special gift. Small businesses from around the area are preparing for what they hope is both a positive shopping day and a return to some normalcy after the past 20 pandemic-marked months.
The Willmar City Council rescinded previous motions to hire an architect and construction manager for the proposed Willmar City Hall/Willmar Community Center project as the future of that project is unknown.

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The Tribune publishes Records as part of its obligation to inform readers about the business of public institutions and to serve as a keeper of the local historical record. All items are written by Tribune staff members based on information contained in public documents from the state court system and from law enforcement agencies. It is the Tribune’s policy that this column contain a complete record. Requests for items to be withheld will not be granted.
As October wraps up, area farmers market vendors are readying their stalls for the final weeks of this year's harvest. Squash, onions and potatoes are the mainstays for the tail end of the season, but customers may see a smattering of tomatoes, beets and cucumbers before the Willmar markets close for the winter at the end of October.
The food and drink classes and farmers markets calendar is published weekly on Thursdays. Email submissions to news@wctrib.com by noon Monday.
A silver lining of COVID-19 was that more people began gardening and selling their produce and homemade baked goods and jams at farmers markets. That buzz is still going on this year with an abundance of farmers markets in the region, bringing good food and a sense of community to rural Minnesota towns.
The Willmar City Council held off making a decision on just how to finance a proposed new Willmar City Hall and Community Center facility. Staff have come up with a possibility that uses a mix of reserves, bonding and local option sales tax revenue.
A presentation April 7 at the Willmar Rotary Club about the Willmar Ten Investors' proposal to build a new Willmar City Hall and Willmar Community Center at the Uptown Willmar mall ended with a plea for the council to make a decision. The city has been working on a possible project for years, but a final decision continues to elude.

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The Willmar City Council started discussing just how it plans to fund a city hall and community center project that could cost up to $10 million. A special work session Monday gave council members a chance to look over possible financing options, including using reserves or bonding.
More than 250 prom and formal dresses donated to AIM of West Central Minnesota are being sold this Saturday and Sunday at the Uptown Willmar mall in Willmar as a fundraiser to provide programs for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The new and gently used dresses are priced at $5 and up.
West Central RockHounds, located in the Uptown Willmar mall, offers visitors the chance to discover a real treasure with its indoor sluice. Just dump a bag of dirt in the pan, sluice it around in the water and see what comes shinning through.

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