News

Class project offers job experience: CCS fifth-graders learn future lessons working at Pizza Ranch

November 25, 2017

Class project offers job experience: CCS fifth-graders learn future lessons working at Pizza Ranch
WILLMAR—The Pizza Ranch dining room buzzed with activity Wednesday as a small crowd of new workers learned about their new jobs. It didn’t take long before the excited members of Community Christian School’s fifth-grade class had settled down to work. As part of a class project at the Willmar school, the students had written their resumes and sent them to Pizza Ranch manager Jeff Keller to apply for jobs. He interviewed them a week ago and hired them to work there at lunchtime Wednesday. The

Kandiyohi County Board approves local option sales tax

November 22, 2017

Kandiyohi County Board approves local option sales tax
WILLMAR—After months of study, discussion and input from the public, the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 Tuesday to proceed with a local option sales tax to fund designated transportation projects. The tax will generate an estimated $2.7 million a year that will be used to pay for four projects totaling $13 million over four and a half years. Consumers will start to see the half-cent local tax when it takes effect April 1 of next year. The County Commissioners said Tuesday that

First Street TIF district approved by Willmar City Council

November 7, 2017

First Street TIF district approved by Willmar City Council
WILLMAR—The Willmar City Council on Monday night approved a new redevelopment tax increment financing district along First Street South that will assist a developer in completing a retail construction project on vacant land on one of Willmar’s main thoroughfares. This was after lengthy discussion at several meetings, along with tabling the decision at the Oct. 23 meeting, because there were concerns that such assistance gives unfair advantage to certain developers over others. The vote to

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota

November 6, 2017

New angel fund ready to invest in west central Minnesota
WILLMAR—After being in the works for several years, a local angel fund now has nearly $1.4 million ready to invest in private companies that have the potential for profitable growth. Based in Willmar, the West Central Angel Fund I LLC officially began accepting applications this fall from “early to middle stage” private business ventures that need a minimum of $100,000 in investment capital. “Access to capital is critical to economic strength in a community,” said Connie

IMPACT of Agriculture in Kandiyohi County 2017

October 31, 2017

IMPACT of Agriculture in Kandiyohi County 2017
The EDC thanks the West Central Tribune for bringing today’s face of agriculture and its impact on our region to the public in the 2017 IMPACT magazine.  Understanding the importance of agriculture and its contributions to our economy and quality of life is emphasized in this thorough publication.  The interviews include those of family farmers, who are still the backbone of U.S. agriculture, as well as those involved with value-added production such as the ethanol industry.  Other interviews

LTD Broadband brings service to Kandiyohi County

October 23, 2017

LTD Broadband brings service to Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County residents in search of rural broadband service have a new option: wireless. LTD Broadband spent the summer months building broadcast tower sites across the county and is now offering high-speed internet to rural homes and businesses. So far, 31 towers have been built, with seven more scheduled for completion this fall. When completed, nearly every rural location in the county will have wireless access to broadband with speeds up to 25 megabits per second, the company said

Community Integration Center opens in downtown Willmar

October 23, 2017

Community Integration Center opens in downtown Willmar
WILLMAR—A group of immigrants from east Africa has formed a nonprofit organization to help members of the Willmar community learn more about each other. The Community Integration Center, located at 201 Fifth St. S.W. in downtown Willmar, is open to everyone, seven days a week. The center will act as a welcome center for people who have just moved to Willmar. Its founders hope they can help break down some cultural barriers, too. The services offered there will be free. In addition to offering help

Delta Dental awards grant to Rice dental clinic

October 22, 2017

Delta Dental awards grant to Rice dental clinic
WILLMAR—Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has awarded a $120,000 grant to the Rice Health Foundation to add an advanced dental therapist to the staff of Rice Regional Dental Clinic. The new staff position will expand access to oral health care for an estimated additional 3,000 patient visits annually. The Rice Regional Dental Clinic provides dental services to children and adults from a 17-county area in southwestern Minnesota who have limited access to care. The clinic sees 35 to 40 patients

15th Street Flats clears major hurdle

October 21, 2017

15th Street Flats clears major hurdle
WILLMAR—The potential workforce housing development planned for Willmar, called 15th Street Flats, has conquered a major hurdle this week, as the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency approved approximately $8 million in tax credits and $1,259,000 in Minnesota Housing investment. “I am really happy. This is significant,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. According to Minnesota Housing, the tax credits are dollar-for-dollar

Golf season to construction season: Groundbreaking slated next week for Little Crow Country Club project

October 17, 2017

Golf season to construction season: Groundbreaking slated next week for Little Crow Country Club project
NEW LONDON—When the golfing season ends next week at the Little Crow Country Club, the construction season will begin. A $7.8 million project will change the face of the popular New London area golf course and put it at a new level in the recreation and hospitality realm. Groundbreaking for the project—which includes a 51-room GrandStay hotel with swimming pool, 300-seat event center with a west vista of the golf course, and new 75-seat restaurant, pro shop, driving range and parking lot—will