News

Recently Released Willmar Opportunity Zone Prospectus Promotes Local Investment Potential

January 23, 2020

Recently Released Willmar Opportunity Zone Prospectus Promotes Local Investment Potential
Today, Aaron Backman, Executive Director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, announced the release of the Willmar Opportunity Zone Prospectus. The prospectus highlights the designated census tract in Willmar to potential opportunity zone investors and developers. Opportunity Zones are low-income census tracks designated by governors and certified by the U.S. Department of the Treasury offering investors a tax-free investment vehicle that creates additional

MnDOT looking to improve Highway 23/7 crossing in Clara City

January 19, 2020

MnDOT looking to improve Highway 23/7 crossing in Clara City
Clara City promotes itself as the “Crossroads on the Prairie,” but there is a downside to the meeting of state Highways 23 and 7 at the south end of the community. Traffic accidents at the intersection of the two highways have long been a concern for emergency responders and law enforcement. At the urging of elected officials in Clara City, Chippewa County, and the Highway 23 Coalition, the Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for ways to make the intersection a safer one.

City planning for a revival of downtown Willmar with a proposed Renaissance Zone

January 15, 2020

City planning for a revival of downtown Willmar with a proposed Renaissance Zone
WILLMAR—While it is not exactly the dark ages in downtown Willmar, home to many successful businesses and low vacancy rates, there is also plenty of opportunity for development, whether it is upgrading an older building or constructing a project from the ground up. The area is already part of Willmar’s only Opportunity Zone, which provides capital gains tax breaks for those who invest in eligible projects. In an effort to bring even more development to the area and open it up to a larger

A Tiny 3D Printing Company in Central Minnesota Looks to Leave a Mark on the Med-Tech Industry

January 14, 2020

A Tiny 3D Printing Company in Central Minnesota Looks to Leave a Mark on the Med-Tech Industry
A small 3D print shop in central Minnesota is building parts for some of the state’s biggest companies. At DI Labs’ office about two hours west of Minneapolis, machines operate 24 hours a day printing prototypes of parts and thousands of other components for 3M, Toro, and a handful of other companies throughout the Upper Midwest and across the country. The company has built everything from full-sized aircraft fuselage to jigs and fixtures for manufacturing. Last month, DI Labs rounded out its

Willmar couple’s bottle-cap invention is a completely Minnesota product

December 31, 2019

Willmar couple’s bottle-cap invention is a completely Minnesota product
WILLMAR — The spark of inspiration can happen at any time and be caused by the smallest of things. For Steve Vossen and Julie Vossen-Henslin of Willmar, it was the two inches of shampoo left in the bottle after the pump stopped working. “I used to cut the bottle off,” Vossen said. At first, trying to solve the problem was just an idea, nothing concrete. Then the husband and wife team started thinking about it a bit more seriously. “It continued to bother us,” Vossen-Henslin

Christmas ribbon is cut at new day care center in Spicer

December 20, 2019

Christmas ribbon is cut at new day care center in Spicer
SPICER—Brand new, pint-sized tables and chairs, books, cribs and colorful toys were unpacked from boxes Monday, and in a mad dash against the clock, were put in place in the new child care center in Spicer in time for a ribbon-cutting Thursday morning. A collective “whew” could be heard by the volunteers and staff from the Kandiyohi County Area YMCA who have been involved with the fast-paced project to create a new day care facility to help meet a serious shortage of child care in the county. Located

Willmar Opportunity Zone for Investors

December 19, 2019

Willmar Opportunity Zone for Investors
Governor Mark Dayton qualified one area of Willmar, out of the 128 census tracts throughout the state, to be qualified as an Opportunity Zone. An Opportunity Zone designation provides potential investors with tax breaks while funding development or redevelopment of the neighborhood. The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission contracted with Golden Shovel Agency to attract investors. The ultimate goal is to develop or redevelop areas within the designated tract through

Epitopix Infrastructure Grant

December 19, 2019

Epitopix Infrastructure Grant
On October 25th, we received exciting news from the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development (DEED). DEED Commissioner, Steve Grove, approved a $1.3 million IBDPI grant with the City of Willmar for the Epitopix sewer line project. The EDC prepared and submitted the grant application on behalf of the City.  Epitopix, LLC is a privately-held company located in Willmar and an affiliate of Vaxxinova, a company based in the Netherlands. Epitopix has corporate offices at the MinnWest

Advocating for Broadband in Kandiyohi County

December 19, 2019

Advocating for Broadband in Kandiyohi County
A contract with Compass Consultants Inc. for an engineering study will determine fiber broadband feasibility in rural Kandiyohi County townships, including Dovre, Mamre and St. Johns townships. Pending the study outcomes and a positive response from the township constituents, we will submit a Border-to-Border application to the Minnesota Office of Broadband Development (OBD) by August 2020. Border-to-border high-speed internet access is the goal throughout Minnesota. The OBD helps Minnesotans understand

Kandiyohi County Rural Child Care Innovation Project

December 19, 2019

Kandiyohi County Rural Child Care Innovation Project
Family childcare and childcare centers are businesses with accounting measures and regulations to follow. They are essential for maintaining the workforce for our businesses and instrumental in providing early education at a critical stage of child development, beginning the preparation of our future workforce. Understanding the problem A 2018 study completed by First Children’s Finance (FCF), an organization known nationally for its leadership in childcare planning and financing, revealed a shortage