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Committee proposes work group to discuss storm water funding

WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council meet informally as a work group on Jan. 24 to discuss ideas to pay for storm water mitigation projects and the city's portion of the Grass Lake project.

WILLMAR -- The Finance Committee is recommending the City Council meet informally as a work group on Jan. 24 to discuss ideas to pay for storm water mitigation projects and the city's portion of the Grass Lake project.

The work group idea was raised after the council failed to garner sufficient votes at the Jan. 7 meeting to enact a natural gas franchise fee to raise revenue to pay for the projects.

Council member Denis Anderson, who is chairman of the Finance Committee, told the council that the panel would take up the funding issue at a later meeting.

During the committee meeting Monday, Anderson asked all council members to meet in a work group to discuss ideas and solutions. Committee member Jim Dokken asked if he could present a proposal, but Anderson said the proposal should be deferred because other council members also have ideas.

In other business, the committee voted to recommend the city pay the cost of landscaping, lighting and sidewalk at the F-14 display at the new airport.

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Completion of the three minor items would close out last year's project to bring the retired Navy fighter jet from the Twin Cities and erect it at the Willmar airport, according to City Administrator Michael Schmit.

Schmit said he will set up a budget for the three items. He said the council budgeted $35,000 for the entire project, but private donations paid for $33,000. No other donations have since been received.

The promoters of the F-14 project had proposed placing the jet on a pedestal, but Anderson said a pedestal would be expensive. Schmit said the pedestal could be a project by itself.

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