News

Marcus Construction to manage three Willmar projects funded by new sales tax

November 19, 2019

Marcus Construction to manage three Willmar projects funded by new sales tax
WILLMAR—Three local option sales tax projects now have a leader. Marcus Construction was hired by the Willmar City Council to act as the construction manager at risk for the new recreation fields and event center near the Willmar Civic Center and for improvements at the Swansson Field Recreational Complex. “We are honored and really excited to get to work on these very important projects,” said Jim Bach of Marcus Construction at the Nov. 4 City Council meeting. The fee for Marcus Construction’s

Willmar takes another step toward Middle School addition

November 18, 2019

Willmar takes another step toward Middle School addition
WILLMAR—The Willmar School Board has taken another step toward a potential addition at Willmar Middle School. School district officials have been meeting with Southwest West Central Service Cooperative since summer about working together to build an addition at the school. It would include an alternative learning center and a new gymnasium for the middle school and a facility for special education students with high needs to be operated by the cooperative. The School Board voted this week to seek

The search for a new Willmar city administrator continues

November 18, 2019

The search for a new Willmar city administrator continues
WILLMAR—Baker Tilly, the search firm hired by the Willmar City Council to head the national search for a new city administrator, is continuing the process with a hope to hire by early next year. “We are fast approaching the next phases in the search for our next city administrator,” said Councilor Shawn Mueske at the Nov. 4 Willmar City Council meeting. Mueske and Human Resources Director Samantha Beckman gave the council an update on the search process at the meeting. The advertising

Willmar golf club to purchase The Oaks from Dave Baker family

November 13, 2019

Willmar golf club to purchase The Oaks from Dave Baker family
WILLMAR—After operating The Oaks at Eagle Creek for 11 years, Dave and Mary Baker are selling the bar, restaurant and event center to the organization that actually owns the building — the Willmar Community Golf Club. The deal had been “evolving” for a couple years, according to Bill Fenske, president of the club. In a vote Monday night, the shareholders of the club voted 83 to 8 to purchase and operate the business. The club has about 450 unique shareholders and about 200 golf members. Fenske

As thousands of trucker positions remain vacant, Ridgewater to offer more CDL training opportunities

October 30, 2019

As thousands of trucker positions remain vacant, Ridgewater to offer more CDL training opportunities
Semitractor-trailers and other commercial vehicles keep the economy in west central Minnesota moving, transporting everything from building materials and groceries to corn and livestock. However, those trucks can’t drive themselves, leading to a huge need for drivers with Class A and B commercial driver’s licenses. “It is really the backbone of the economy out here,” said Jason Duininck, vice president of business development for Duininck Inc. As a construction company, Duininck

Wet weather slows weekly Willmar Wye progress

October 28, 2019

Wet weather slows weekly Willmar Wye progress
WILLMAR—For a few days last week a large crane towered over state Highway 40, near County State Aid Highway 55, as a new box culvert was installed at the Hawk Creek crossing. The installation is part of the Willmar Wye Rail Connector and Industrial Access project. Despite the rains, the Hoffman Team, the contractor for the Willmar Wye project, continued pushing forward with construction on the road portion of the rail bypass project. The entire project will include a new section to U.S. Highway

Program builds connections between the very old and the very young

October 26, 2019

Program builds connections between the very old and the very young
WILLMAR—Dorothy Benson wore a big smile as she rolled her wheelchair out of the community room at the Carris Health Rice Care Center. “That was a lot of fun,” she beamed. She and a handful of other elderly residents had just spent the morning with a roomful of preschoolers from Loving Arms Childcare, pretending they were at a Renaissance fair and enjoying snacks and music. The intergenerational program between the Rice Care Center and the day care center brings together the very old

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC seeks investors for redevelopment projects in Willmar Opportunity Zone

October 16, 2019

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar EDC seeks investors for redevelopment projects in Willmar Opportunity Zone
Kandiyohi County’s only Opportunity Zone, located around downtown Willmar, provides potential investors with tax breaks while funding development or redevelopment of the neighborhood.   The goal of the Opportunity Zone is development or redevelopment, and the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has contracted with Golden Shovel Agency to attract investors. When former Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton released his list of the 128 census tracts chosen to

Open house gives overview of Kandiyohi County highway changes in wye corridor

October 16, 2019

Open house gives overview of Kandiyohi County highway changes in wye corridor
An open house hosted Wednesday by Kandiyohi County Public Works gave the public a chance to ask questions and learn more about the county’s plans for realigning its highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor.   Jeremy Pfeifer, an engineer with Kandiyohi County Public Works, explains pending changes in the Kandiyohi County highway network at the south end of the railroad bypass corridor west of Willmar. Maps, drawings and aerial footage shot from a drone were on

Bethesda breaks ground for senior living facility in New London

October 10, 2019

Bethesda breaks ground for senior living facility in New London
NEW LONDON — Ground was broken Wednesday for a $17.5 million senior living complex in New London. Called Bethesda North Pointe, the campus will be located on 11 acres of land on the east side of state Highway 23 near the Carris Health clinic. It will include 75 apartments — for independent living and various stages of assisted living and memory care — along with a chapel, fitness center and unique dining options. It’s expected to be open by the spring of 2021 and will employ about 60