News

Kandiyohi County Board rejects housing tax abatement request

July 17, 2019

Kandiyohi County Board rejects housing tax abatement request
WILLMAR — The Kandiyohi County Commissioners turned down a request Tuesday for a developer’s tax abatement to build a 24-unit apartment building in Willmar, saying they were concerned about the cost to taxpayers and citing worries about setting an unwelcome precedent. The board’s vote, which was unanimous, came after public testimony that was overwhelmingly in opposition to granting the abatement. The commissioners said they do not doubt there’s a need for more housing in Willmar

Willmar Wye a few golden shovels closer to completion

July 10, 2019

Willmar Wye a few golden shovels closer to completion
WILLMAR — At the end of the old Willmar Municipal Airport runway Tuesday afternoon, golden shovels manned by federal, state and local dignitaries dug out the first few piles of dirt in the Willmar Wye railroad project. “It has been a long journey for many of us and we have accomplished a lot of things with it already,” said Jon Huseby, Minnesota Department of Transportation district engineer for District 8, based in Willmar. The Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project,

Willmar benches draw attention to the arts

July 6, 2019

Willmar benches draw attention to the arts
Willmar – Exercise undoubtedly contributes to a healthier lifestyle, so why is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota putting $20,000 into a project here called “Sit With Me”? The answer can be found on the more than 600 ceramic tiles that people of all ages, races and ethnicities have painted this year as part of a public arts project organized by the Willmar Area Arts Council. The tiles are going onto eight new concrete benches around town to show off Willmar’s diversity and community

New York Time Article – President Trump, Come to Willmar

May 21, 2019

New York Time Article – President Trump, Come to Willmar
Thomas L. Friedman recently wrote an article about the Willmar Lakes area. The article was published in the New York Times and features interviews from various Willmar Lakes area citizens.  Read the full article below or on the New York Times website.   President Trump, Come to Willmar This Minnesota town is a modern, successful American melting pot. By Thomas L. Friedman Published May 14, 2019  WILLMAR, Minn. — In 1949 my aunt and uncle moved from Minneapolis to this town in west-central

Retail Business Workshop Series

April 26, 2019

Retail Business Workshop Series
During the past quarter, the EDC engaged partners to create an innovative Retail Business Design Workshops, a 10-week program that included five merchandising workshops for small retailers in Kandiyohi County.  There were nine partners in this effort—the University of Minnesota Extension, University of Minnesota (U of M) College of Design, EDC, Ridgewater College, Willmar Main Street, Spicer Economic Development Authority, Willmar Area Community Foundation, United Way of West Central Minnesota,

Kandiyohi County Rural Childcare Innovation Program

April 26, 2019

Kandiyohi County Rural Childcare Innovation Program
Like many areas of Minnesota, Kandiyohi County is experiencing a lack of quality childcare. A study completed by First Children’s Finance in 2018 revealed a current shortage of childcare access for at least 775 children in Kandiyohi County. The areas with the most need include Spicer, New London and Willmar. The survey identified challenges of providing childcare services, quality, regulation, high costs and low availability, high demand of infant care and diversity of care needed as some of

Housing Project – 15th Street Flats Rising (and shining!)

April 22, 2019

Housing Project – 15th Street Flats Rising (and shining!)
A new multi-family housing project is rising in southeast Willmar near the Highway 23/71 bypass–15th Street Flats.  This affordable housing project consisting of 47 multi-family rental units is definitely taking shape.  Commonwealth Development, the project developer, closed on funding with the State of Minnesota on August 31, 2018.  Commonwealth gave the notice to proceed with construction on September 4th to the general contractor, Project One Construction of Kimball, MN.  Shortly thereafter,

2019 EDC Strategic Planning Session

April 22, 2019

2019 EDC Strategic Planning Session
The 2019 Strategic Planning Session for the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) took place this past March. EDC Marketing and Public Relations Committee Vice Chair, Melissa Knott, shares her experience with us as a first-time attendee: “On March 14th, I had the pleasure of attending the 2019 Strategic Planning Session for the EDC where the separate committees came together to establish and discuss the primary focus areas for 2019. It was an eye-opening

the Buzz | Co-Op Credit Union, First Street Station, Legacy Commons, Westside Market

April 22, 2019

the Buzz | Co-Op Credit Union, First Street Station, Legacy Commons, Westside Market
Late in 2018, Willmar City Planner, Sarah Swedburg, published another episode of “the Buzz”. In this episode, Sarah talks about several projects taking place in our community. Co-Op Credit Union Co-Op Credit Union is located on the corner of 5th street and 19th avenue. Construction of this project is underway and is scheduled to be completed in late Spring of 2019. First Street Station First Street Station is a 4-unit strip mall located on the old Dairy Queen on First Street. Weather

Celebrations planned to mark 100 years at Sibley State Park

April 22, 2019

Celebrations planned to mark 100 years at Sibley State Park
Popular destination in Kandiyohi County was designated on April 23, 1919 Celebration events are planned throughout the summer to honor 100 years of Sibley State Park, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The park, in west-central Minnesota, is named for the state’s first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was funded by the state Legislature and designated as a state park on April 23, 1919.   “Sibley State Park is a special place for many people,” said park naturalist Kelsey