News

Suite Liv’n hoping to bring more housing options to Willmar

December 18, 2018

Suite Liv’n hoping to bring more housing options to Willmar
WILLMAR—Suite Liv’n of Willmar, which owns and operates an extended stay lodging business, along with several apartment buildings in the Willmar area, is planning on adding to its housing portfolio by building a new 24-unit building at Sunwood Apartments. The existing complex, located on 15th Avenue Northwest, near Ridgewater College, has two 12-unit buildings already. Suite Liv’n purchased the complex a few months ago with a goal to build the third building next year. The company had

Rural Child Care Innovation Program

December 17, 2018

Rural Child Care Innovation Program
The EDC has identified childcare as a goal for 2018 and is participating in the Rural Child Care Innovation Program led by First Children’s Finance in Kandiyohi County. The program is a community engagement process designed to address the challenges of childcare in rural communities. A recent survey of local employers and parents resulted in more than 1,200 responses. A community conversation was held on November 29th where the results of the survey and the future of the program were presented.

Survey confirms child care challenge in Kandiyohi County

December 7, 2018

Survey confirms child care challenge in Kandiyohi County
The need for high-quality, affordable child care in Kandiyohi County is an issue gaining a lot of attention. According to a potential need analysis from First Children’s Finance, there is a shortage of at least 776 child care slots across the county. “Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care is a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including right here in Kandiyohi County,” said Connie Schmoll, from the Kandiyohi County and

Kandiyohi County Jail gets technology upgrades

December 4, 2018

Kandiyohi County Jail gets technology upgrades
WILLMAR—From the control room in the heart of the Kandiyohi County Jail, correctional officer Alii Holt has a video’s-eye view of of the facility: corridors, cell blocks and the outside perimeter. An array of screens allows Holt and the rest of the jail staff to monitor activity throughout the building. They can track who’s entering and leaving, they can zoom in if they spot the beginnings of an altercation and send officers to respond. Installation of the new camera system was recently

Willmar, Olivia look to brighten up downtowns with the arts

November 27, 2018

Willmar, Olivia look to brighten up downtowns with the arts
WILLMAR—The cities of Olivia and Willmar hope the Artists on Main Street program will bring new excitement to their downtowns, which have seen significant changes and challenges in the last several years. “We will be able to use art as a problem solver. We can use art to confront some of those challenges downtown, the perception of downtown,” said Sarah Swedburg, Willmar city planner and the coordinator for the city’s newly re-established Minnesota Main Street program. Susie Lang,

Kandiyohi County to start phasing in online-only campsite reservations

November 24, 2018

Kandiyohi County to start phasing in online-only campsite reservations
WILLMAR—Kandiyohi County will deliver a strong nudge this coming year to get the public to make reservations online for campsites at its county parks. When reservations open Jan. 14 for the 2019 camping season, the first two weeks will be set aside for those who register and pay online. Phone reservations won’t open until Jan. 29. And the message to make reservations online and pay with a credit card will be repeated often throughout the season. It’s going to be the lead-up to 2020,

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options

November 21, 2018

Local interest in growing and processing hemp: EDC committee will conduct feasibility study for market options
WILLMAR— With the potential for high per-acre profits there’s increasing interest in growing industrial hemp on west central Minnesota farms. But with limited processing options available, an untested market chain and federal law that still classifies industrial hemp as a controlled substance, there are a few roadblocks yet to overcome. That’s why a feasibility study that could detail the financial risks and gains of growing, processing and marketing industrial hemp is expected to be

Willmar sells land for package sorting, distribution facility

November 20, 2018

Willmar sells land for package sorting, distribution facility
WILLMAR — A purchase agreement for 14.46 acres of land in the Willmar Industrial Park has been signed between the city of Willmar and JDC Property Group LLC. JDC is purchasing the land and constructing a package sorting and distribution facility for logistics company that so far has not been named publicly. The sale price for the land was $650,000. The site is located between Trott Avenue and Willmar Avenue Southwest on the west side of Kandiyohi County Road 5. “This is a nice project,

Ridgewater ranked top public auto mechanics program

November 20, 2018

Ridgewater ranked top public auto mechanics program
WILLMAR, MN — Ridgewater College has been ranked the top public college for students pursuing an auto mechanic certificate. The Washington Monthly magazine recently ranked nearly 100 public and private community colleges.   Washington Monthly has rated universities and four- and two-year colleges in the past. However, this is the first time it has ranked schools offering non-degree certificates and diplomas, according to a release from the college. Students in Ridgewater’s Automotive

Ridgewater brings $170 million to area’s economy, study says

November 20, 2018

Ridgewater brings $170 million to area’s economy, study says
WILLMAR — Ridgewater College contributes more than $170 million to the region’s economy, according to a study by the Minnesota State system of public colleges and universities. The study indicates the college also contributes 1,456 jobs to the area, according to a news release from Ridgewater. “At Ridgewater College, our top priority is the success of our students and alumni, but our college also plays a vital role in both the state and regional economies,” Craig Johnson,