News

DEED commissioner sees economic success and challenges during tour in Willmar

August 30, 2019

DEED commissioner sees economic success and challenges during tour in Willmar
WILLMAR—While taking tours across Minnesota, Steve Grove has heard about the economic success stories as well as the economic challenges communities are experiencing. On Thursday, Grove—the commissioner of the Department of Employment and Economic Development—was in Willmar touring local businesses and hearing from community leaders about those challenges and opportunities. Grove had high praise for what he saw. “The way this community has embraced its growing workforce, its immigrant workforce,

Willmar’s 15th Street Flats soon to be home for dozens of families

August 21, 2019

Willmar’s 15th Street Flats soon to be home for dozens of families
WILLMAR — On Sept. 1, as a construction crew led by Project One Construction moves out, dozens of families will start the process of moving into their new homes in 15th Street Flats, the first multi-family housing project to be completed in Willmar in several years. Construction on the building, located at 1601 15th St. S.E., began in September 2018 and the Kandiyohi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority in May started accepting applications for the available units. There are 47 units in

It is starting to look a lot like Kohl’s

August 19, 2019

It is starting to look a lot like Kohl’s
WILLMAR — While an official grand opening date has yet to be announced to the public, the Kohl’s at Willmar’s Kandi Mall is starting to take shape. Weston Banker, senior coordinator for Kohl’s corporate public relations, said in an email to the West Central Tribune that the store will open this fall. Located on the mall’s south end, in the former Kmart location, the store is occupying a space that has long been vacant. The store will be approximately 40,000 square feet,

Making a dent in the daycare shortage

July 31, 2019

Making a dent in the daycare shortage
A wall-breaking ceremony takes place Tuesday at the Green Lake Mall in Spicer, launching a project to turn an unused portion of the mall into a YMCA daycare center that will provide spots for 90 children in northern Kandiyohi County. The center could be open as early as Dec. 1.  Wielding sledgehammers and taking a stance familiar to HGTV viewers, a series of local volunteers took numerous swings Tuesday morning at a wall in the Green Lake Mall in Spicer in a ceremonial step to bring

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar

July 27, 2019

Ag Innovation conference Thursday in Willmar
WILLMAR—Two local entities that have worked independently to provide information and opportunities for the agriculture industry are teaming up for a one-day conference Thursday in Willmar. Topics for the first-ever Partners in Ag Innovation Conference include new opportunities for industrial hemp, ag technology, marketing trends, government regulations and the art of cooking—and eating—locally-grown foods. The conference runs from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. The

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,