WILLMAR—Housing availability, especially workforce housing, has been a topic of concern in Willmar for some time. A potential development could help alleviate some of the strain, by bringing 45 high-quality and affordable units to Willmar. “The city has an opportunity to participate in a workforce housing project. This is the first one we’ve been able to sink our teeth into,” Willmar Planning and Development Director Bruce Peterson said Monday during a work session of the Willmar
WILLMAR—The Willmar Wye rail bypass project has completed a big step in the process this week. The Federal Rail Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have signed off on the Finding of No Significant Impact document, which is the last step in the environmental portion of the project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Tuesday in a news release. The impact document is based on the environmental assessment worksheet, which evaluates the need, environmental issues
WILLMAR—A loose-knit coalition of local transportation advocates may soon be reinvented—and reignited—in its mission to complete a four-lane route between Willmar and St. Cloud. The group has been lobbying for decades to make state Highway 23 a four-lane link to Interstate 94. Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, wants to broaden that coalition to bring in more community partners and give the group more structure that
SPICER—Kandiyohi County reeled in a big catch of its own Saturday at the governor’s fishing opener. Explore Minnesota announced the Willmar Lakes Area will host next year’s fishing opener on Green Lake May 10-13. It will be the second time in the history of the event that it has been held on Green Lake. It’s an honor to be selected as the host site, said Beth Fischer, executive director of the Willmar Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We look forward to the opportunity
WILLMAR—Ground was officially broken Wednesday for a new $11 million outpatient surgery center that will enhance the level of care and meet growing community needs for same-day, lower-cost surgical services. The project is being undertaken by Willmar Medical Services, a joint venture of Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers. “It’s an exciting time for all of us,” said Mike Schramm, president of Willmar Medical Services and chief executive of Rice Hospital. The
The Minnesota Farmers Union unveiled its report What Do Rural People Think? on April 26, 2017. It is a distillation of 14 conversations in 14 rural communities held between March 27 and April 26, 2017. Here’s the quick summary (broadband is #3!) Since the 2016 national, state and local elections, there seems to be an ever-present question on the minds of policymakers, elected officials, the media and organizations of all kinds: What do rural people think? $43,429 per year is too much
Residents in the areas of Sunburg, West Norway Lake, Norway Lake, Games Lake, Lake Andrew, Lake Florida, Lake Monongalia, County Road 40, County Road 5 are encouraged to sign up for the new fiber broadband service coming to the county. We have reached 52% of the goal and need just 388 more interested users for the project to move forward. Sign up today at http://join.connectctc.com.
At their recently held strategic planning session, the EDC’s boards identified four overarching goals on which to focus their efforts: The EDC will strengthen partnerships and connections with existing businesses to be a catalyst and build capacity for organic growth. The EDC will explore and increase operations to support efforts to improve the tax base by attracting new residents with higher income and educational levels. The EDC will position and market itself as the expert in business
WILLMAR—The surprising optimism of farmers in spite of bleak revenues and the powerful punch agriculture has on the local economy were two key points revealed by an in-depth survey of Kandiyohi County ag producers. A report on the survey, which was commissioned by the Ag and Renewable Energy Committee of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, was presented last week at two public forums. The report will help the committee “develop a plan and a vision”
The EDC recently completed interviewing 51 ag producers in Kandiyohi County. The data was compiled and analyzed by Jim Molenaar, who presented the data at two workshops on April 5, 2017. Ag producers, local business leaders and officials received the data and then discussed strategies to move the reports findings forward. Click on the link 2017 Ag Producer BRE Report to view the report.