Bonawitz re-elected utilities president for 2006
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission re-elected Bob Bonawitz as president during the commission's annual organizational meeting Monday. Bonawitz is entering his fourth year on the commission and third year as president of the sev...
WILLMAR -- The Willmar Municipal Utilities Commission re-elected Bob Bonawitz as president during the commission's annual organizational meeting Monday. Bonawitz is entering his fourth year on the commission and third year as president of the seven-member commission.
"It's something I have time to do and enjoy,'' said Bonawitz, a retired executive with Control Data Corporation. He has lived in Willmar since 1999.
Among the goals for 2006 will be continuing the utilities' relationship with Kandiyohi Power Cooperative and taking a hard look at long-range planning as it relates to electric generation, transmission and improvements in the district heating system, he said.
Bonawitz and commission members Doug Lindblad and Jerry Gesch will meet as the planning committee with senior utility officials to discuss service territory, the generation and district heating study, strategic mission and goals, marketing and public relations, and other topics.
In other organizational business for 2006, the commission re-elected Jim Schammel as vice president. The commission elected Lindblad as secretary, replacing Marv Kray; and elected Gesch as treasurer, replacing Lon Chappell.
In other business, the commission approved the $639,400 low bid of TMI Coatings of St. Paul to rehabilitate the 3-million-gallon water reservoir in southwest Willmar. The bid was the lowest of four bids received on Dec. 20. The TMI bid was below the engineer's late 2004 estimate of $650,000 and considerably below the revised October 2005 estimate of $715,000. "It's a very good bid when you consider the engineer's estimate,'' said Nitchals.
In other business, the commission:
- Received a report from general manager Mike Nitchals on the 5:39 a.m. outage that left about 770 customers without power for up to two hours in south Willmar on Jan. 5. Power was restored to most customers after one hour, but about 50 customers remained without power for almost another hour. The outage was due to failure of a termination next to Slumberland at First Street and Willmar Avenue. A termination connects an overhead wire to an underground cable.
- Approved the commission's 2006 meeting schedule. Most meetings will be held on the second and fourth Monday of each month, except Oct. 10 to avoid a conflict with the Columbus Day holiday and Dec. 26 to avoid Christmas Day.
- Approved an $8,329 bid from WESCO of Eagen for purchase of a pad-mount transformer to replace a transformer in a vault in downtown Willmar. WESCO submitted the only bid for the transformer, which must be of a size that will fit into the confined space.
- Approved a three-year lease with Fox Lake Farms and CHS Farms of Blomkest to farm 17 acres of land near the utilities substation and power line in south Willmar. The cost of the least is $700 per year in 2006, 2007 and 2008.
- Was told by Nitchals that the utilities will install electric meters at the buildings when the Willmar Regional Treatment Center becomes MinnWest Technology on Jan. 16. The utilities will be serving MinnWest. The treatment center's former energy allocation from Western Area Power Administration will be assigned to Ridgewater College. The utilities will manage the allocation, said Nitchals.