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WILLMAR — When the temperatures took a nosedive Jan. 29 through Jan. 31 prices for electricity raced upward as energy providers across the Midwest struggled to produce enough power for the demand. Even in Willmar, Municipal Utilities staff had to race to make sure there was enough heat to get customers through the bitter cold as comfortably as possible. "We had some excellent teamwork involving five departments," said Chris Carlson, power supply manager at Willmar Municipal Utilities.
WILLMAR — John Christenson, adjutant of the Disabled American Veterans chapter in Willmar, has a vision of 50 American flags flapping in the wind, leading up to a majestic granite monument to the area's military veterans and the five branches of the armed services, all overlooking Willmar Lake. The monument would be set in the middle of a pentagon-shaped plaza with rows of memorial pavers commemorating local veterans. "I've been wanting to do this for two years," Christenson said.
WILLMAR — After two years as the Willmar City Administrator, Ike Holland has announced his resignation. Holland said he expects his last day on the job will be June 18, approximately 90 days from now. While Holland originally expected he would stay in Willmar for several years, a family tragedy changed those plans. His son Zachary died in September. "My son passing kind of drove the train, that perhaps we should move up our timeline and move back to Colorado," Holland said.
WILLMAR — By the time their meeting was over Thursday, the Willmar City Hall Task Force members found themselves looking at a site that many of them never expected. "I think we are a little surprised about where we are," said Sarah Swedburg, interim Planning and Development Services director for the city. The task force has become very interested in building a new city hall on the same property as the Willmar Fire Station, along South First Street between Trott Avenue and Minnesota Avenue Southwest.
WILLMAR — For the past several months, residents of the Willmar area have been discovering and sharing their musical and songwriting talents to tell the story of their community through original songs and poems.
WILLMAR – Ike Holland, the administrator of the city of Willmar for the past two years, has tendered his resignation. In a press release on Thursday Holland said he would be leaving the city by the end of June. His actual last day has yet to be announced. He and his family will be returning to Colorado, their home state, Holland said.
WILLMAR — When the Willmar Warhawks and Willmar Cardinals hockey teams take to the ice later this year, the fans will have new places to sit. The 30-year-old wooden bleachers are finally to be replaced, after several years on the city's to-do list. The Willmar City Council approved the purchase of new bleachers for the Cardinal Arena. The resolution for the approximate $200,000 project passed unanimously at Monday's council meeting. "This is a project that has been around for a long time," Councilor Audrey Nelsen said.
WILLMAR — Following the public hearing during Monday's meeting, the Willmar City Council approved the 2019 street and trail improvements, approved the plans and specifications for the projects and authorized the advertisement for bids. The council approved the resolutions unanimously with seven votes. Councilor Shawn Mueske abstained from both votes due to a conflict of interest. Mueske lives on one of the streets being improved and City Attorney Robert Scott said that could rise to the level of a conflict of interest.
WILLMAR — The Willmar City Council will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in the county board chambers at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building. A public hearing will be held on the 2019 street and other improvements. Following the hearing the council will consider resolutions ordering the improvements and authorizing the preparation of plans for the projects as well as authorizing the advertisement for bids.
WILLMAR — Willmar Public Works is asking for residents' help as the immense amount of snow left behind after a difficult February and early March begins to melt. The catch basins that drain water from city roads into the storm sewer system are covered in snow and ice. This means the water from the melting snow and rain cannot enter the basins and drain away. Residents could help by digging out the basins near their homes. "If they can at all, get them open," Public Works Superintendent Gary Manzer said.