News

Housing developer to seek Willmar tax abatement

March 4, 2019

Housing developer to seek Willmar tax abatement
WILLMAR—To help move the construction of new 24-unit apartment building at the Sunwood Apartment Complex near Ridgewater College forward, developer AEHM LLC has requested the Willmar City Council consider approval of a 10-year tax abatement for the project. Gabe Olson, of AEHM, explained that with rising construction costs, the project would probably not be possible without assistance from the city. “Construction costs are pretty high,” Olson said. “Without the abatement, it would

Highway 23 Coalition sets 2019 project goals

February 22, 2019

Highway 23 Coalition sets 2019 project goals
WILLMAR — Building on their success last year to lobby the Minnesota Legislature for money to build two four-lane gaps between Willmar and Interstate 94, the Highway 23 Coalition has set new legislative goals for 2019. The board of directors for the coalition, which is a public-private partnership with more than 100 members that promotes infrastructure improvements on Highway 23, recently identified support for four projects on the Highway 23 corridor. The projects include: Construction of a roundabout

Willmar updates Robbins Island land use covenants

February 21, 2019

Willmar updates Robbins Island land use covenants
WILLMAR—As a requirement of the $606,000 Legacy grant Willmar received for improvements at Robbins Island Regional Park, the city needed to update the land use covenants for the park, to lay out in black and white that someday the park won’t turn into a strip mall or housing development. The park has covenants, but they haven’t been updated since 1974. “This is basically saying this is going to be a park and it is always going to stay a park,” Willmar Parks and Recreation

Kandi Mall owners thrilled with Kohl’s decision to come to Willmar

February 20, 2019

Kandi Mall owners thrilled with Kohl’s decision to come to Willmar
WILLMAR—The Kandi Mall’s southside anchor location has stood empty since 2012 when Kmart closed. For the past four years, Kohl’s has been eyeing Willmar as a possible location for a new store, according to Andy Weiner, CEO of RockStep Capital, owners of the mall. “We are thrilled to have Kohl’s open up a 40,000-square-foot store in the former Kmart building,” Weiner said in an email to the West Central Tribune. “They believe they will have a very strong store

Kohl’s gets building permit for Kandi Mall’s Kmart site

February 20, 2019

Kohl’s gets building permit for Kandi Mall’s Kmart site
WILLMAR – It looks like the rumors are true. National retailer Kohl’s is coming to Willmar’s Kandi Mall. Mayor Marv Calvin made the announcement at the end of Tuesday’s city council meeting. “Kohl’s has pulled a building permit from the city of Willmar,” Calvin said. City Planner Sarah Swedburg said the building permit was taken out by Kohl’s last week and is for work to split the former Kmart location in the Kandi Mall into two different retail spaces, with Kohl’s planning to fill

Bethesda recognized for Cycling Without Age program in Willmar

February 19, 2019

Bethesda recognized for Cycling Without Age program in Willmar
WILLMAR—Bethesda Willmar has received a “Stars Among Us” Community Collaboration Award from LeadingAge Minnesota for its Cycling Without Age initiative conducted in partnership with the city of Willmar. The award recognizes an aging services provider that partners with a city, agency, community group or other business to go beyond its traditional long-term care role to support and improve the greater community. Cycling Without Aging is the first program of its kind in Greater Minnesota

New telemedicine program offers Rx for ailing hearts

February 17, 2019

New telemedicine program offers Rx for ailing hearts
WILLMAR—Once upon a time, DuWayne Underthun and his wife, Betty, would have been making many snowy trips from their rural Willmar home to the CentraCare Heart and Vascular Center in St. Cloud for his congestive heart failure. Instead, he now receives most of his care much closer to home through a newly launched heart failure telemedicine program at Rice Memorial Hospital. An appointment last week, the day after a snowstorm pummeled the region and brought most travel to a standstill, reinforced

Small Cities grants provide much needed funding for community upkeep

February 14, 2019

Small Cities grants provide much needed funding for community upkeep
WILLMAR—The city of Willmar received the largest Small Cities grant awarded in the state in 2018. Awarded by the state Department of Employment and Economic Development, using funds from the federal Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block grant, the $1,205,177 grant will be used for housing and commercial rehabilitation in a targeted area and a rehab project at Hanson Apartments on Lakeland Drive Southeast. The money can be used only for projects within the program’s parameters

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold

February 14, 2019

Large Willmar Industrial Park development has been put on hold
WILLMAR—The logistics company that had been planning on building a large facility in the Willmar Industrial Park has slammed the brakes on the project. Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission director, and Sarah Swedburg, interim Willmar Planning and Development Services director, announced the news at Thursday’s EDC joint operations board meeting. “They have decided to hold off on the closing of the land,” Backman said. The company was to purchase

Ridgewater expands Transfer Pathway program to include Law Enforcement

January 27, 2019

Ridgewater expands Transfer Pathway program to include Law Enforcement
WILLMAR—Ridgewater College has added a fifth course of study to its Transfer Pathway program. Law enforcement students at Ridgewater will now be able to earn an associate degree and use Transfer Pathway to enter a four-year program in the Minnesota State system, according to a news release from the college. Law Enforcement is the newest Transfer Pathway program available to students at Ridgewater College. The program helps ease the way for students who plan to transfer to four-year programs. Minnesota