News

Ground broken for new Willmar Surgery Center

May 11, 2017

Ground broken for new Willmar Surgery Center
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

What do rural Minnesotans think?

May 2, 2017

What do rural Minnesotans think?
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

New map released of broadband project area

April 28, 2017

New map released of broadband project area
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. 

EDC boards determine 2017 goals

April 28, 2017

EDC boards determine 2017 goals
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

Survey shows power of ag on Kandiyohi County economy

April 10, 2017

Survey shows power of ag on Kandiyohi County economy
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”

2017 Ag Producer BRE Report

April 6, 2017

2017 Ag Producer BRE Report
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.

Planning for Willmar airport’s future

April 2, 2017

Planning for Willmar airport’s future
WILLMAR—It’s been 20 years since the Willmar Airport Master Plan was updated. Back then the city was involved with the major venture of moving the airport to its current location on state Highway 40. “All it talks about is how we’re going to build this new airport. We are a little past that now,” said Airport Manager Megan DeSchepper. The master plan will lay out the short-, mid-, and long-term development plans for the airport. “It will set goals and policies on how

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project

April 1, 2017

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project
WILLMAR—Customer sign-ups are underway as Consolidated Telecommunications Co. begins laying the groundwork to bring high-speed internet to rural north central Kandiyohi County. The last in a series of meet-and-greet sessions on the project will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Dethlefs Center in Spicer. Representatives of the company will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. There also will be a chance to sign up for the service. Commitments from future users will be important

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future

March 25, 2017

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future
WILLMAR—A newly completed report with data that show the strengths and weaknesses in retail trade in the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County is being used to develop a vision and strategy for continued economic growth in the community. During a day-long planning session Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer, members of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission got a look at the graphs and summaries in the 43-page report that

Willmar Poultry, Aviagen establish new turkey poult supplier

March 17, 2017

Willmar Poultry, Aviagen establish new turkey poult supplier
WILLMAR — Willmar Poultry/Ag Forte has merged with Valley of the Moon Commercial Poults and is set to establish a new commercial turkey poult company called Select Genetics. “The focus of Select Genetics will be to deliver the best quality genetics to the turkey industry, which will allow our industry to best compete against other animal proteins,” said Rick Vanderspek, president and chief operations officer of Select Genetics, in a news release announcing the venture. Vanderspek is