WILLMAR — As was expected, the newest coronavirus restrictions announced by Gov. Tim Walz on Wednesday and taking effect Friday have impacted the city of Willmar's plans on when it would be closing its facilities to the public.
The Willmar Community Center, Auditorium and Civic Center will now be closing at 11:59 p.m. Friday for at least four weeks. All activities, events and programming that were scheduled to take place at those locations after Friday night are now on hold or canceled.
Senior citizens will still be able to order and pick up lunch at the community center, but the center itself will be closed.
The Willmar WarHawks game at the Civic Center scheduled for Friday night is still on. Willmar Parks and Recreation Director Rob Baumgarn said he is still getting clarification if the city will be able to flood and open the outdoor ice rinks due to the restrictions on social gatherings outside one's immediate household.
The City Offices will be closed starting Nov. 23. Members of the public who need to reach city staff can find department phone numbers on the city's website at willmarmn.gov and on the entrances to city facilities. Public notices will continue to be posted on the city website, with local news media, the city's Facebook page and through WRAC-8.
The Willmar City Council will also be returning to all virtual meetings, with no in-person attendance, until further notice.
City Administrator Brian Gramentz, in a news release announcing the closures, thanks the community for its patience and cooperation over the next four weeks and also asks for them to visit local businesses if possible.
"Some of our local businesses are again being asked to reduce service levels in compliance (with the new executive order) to help reduce COVID-19 transmission," Gramentz said. "I am sure they would appreciate any drive-through or pickup business you can give them during this time. "