WILLMAR — The plans for the Invest in Willmar local option sales tax recreation and event center and recreational fields projects were tabled Thursday by the Willmar City Council's Public Works and Public Safety Committee.
The tabling means it could delay the plans reaching the Willmar City Council until the March 15 meeting, unless a special committee meeting is called prior to the March 1 council meeting.
In regard to the event center, City Councilor Audrey Nelsen made the motion to table the plan, citing concerns about operational costs connected to the center, which is to be connected to the Willmar Civic Center. She would like to see estimated operational costs for the center, as well as possible revenue streams, before having the council act on giving the project final approval.
"Until we see that, I don't think the council should be making a decision," Nelsen said.
The motion to table the event center passed 3 to 1, with Councilors Nelsen, Julie Asmus and Andrew Plowman voting aye. Councilor Justin Ask voted against the motion.
The decision to table the plan for the recreational fields was due to the ongoing work to address stormwater issues at the site as well as completing a land transfer between the city and Willmar Public Schools that is needed prior to construction of the fields at the Civic Center complex. The high school sits adjacent to the Civic Center.
"There are things that need to be worked out yet, before we can say yes," said City Administrator Brian Gramentz. "It pains me to say that."
The motion was made unanimously.
Two synthetic turf fields are planned for north of the Civic Center, while a new softball complex will be located on the south side of the Civic Center.
Plowman said he believes both projects will still move forward, once all these outstanding questions and concerns are addressed.