News

Highway 23 Improvements Moving Ahead

October 19, 2018

Highway 23 Improvements Moving Ahead
On May 30th, Governor Dayton signed the bill approved by the Minnesota Legislature providing $105 million in Corridors of Commerce funding for both four-lane gaps on Highway 23 between Willmar and Interstate 94. The Highway 23 Coalition worked very hard to encourage passage and the signing of the bonding bill that included road funding and other important projects in this region. The Coalition, which now boasts 94 members including 64 businesses and 21 units of government, will continue to hold the

2018 FAM Tour by Connie Schmoll

October 16, 2018

Designed to bring familiarization of Minnesota and communities across the state, including Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar, to site selectors nationwide, the 2018 Minnesota Site Selectors FAM Tour may have been the most effective tour in the four years I have been a part of this organization. Past FAM Tours In 2015, the FAM Tour included one site selector, Linda Burns, coming to Willmar for one day to tour the area and visit with business leaders. During the other three days that Ms. Burns

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development

October 16, 2018

Child care – Important to local and regional economic development
Family child care and child care centers are businesses with accounting measures and regulations to follow. They are essential for maintaining a workforce for our businesses and are instrumental in providing early education at an important stage of child development, beginning the preparation of our future workforce. Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care options is being identified as a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including Kandiyohi County,

Little Crow Resort Up and Running

October 16, 2018

Little Crow Resort Up and Running
The Little Crow Country Club has taken a major step forward. Marketed under the umbrella name of Little Crow Resort, the $7.8 million complex located just south of the city of New London boasts a new 51-room GrandStay Hotel, 300-seat event center, 80-seat restaurant (called the Little Crow Tavern & Grille) and a new clubhouse. Hotel construction was completed during the summer of 2018. Kandiyohi County Tourist Destination On August 22nd, the Little Crow Resort held a Grand Opening. The EDC helped

Kwik Trip Comes to Town

October 16, 2018

Kwik Trip Comes to Town
During the past year and a half, Kwik Trip, based in La Crosse, Wisconsin, has transformed several locations in Willmar into brand new gas stations and convenience stores. In doing so, it has significantly redeveloped two sites and is planning on a third location. On U.S. Highway 12 on the east side of Willmar, the company acquired the former Cenex Travel Plaza and an adjacent parcel of land. That enabled Kwik Trip to demolish the existing structures and to construct an 8,800 sq. ft. facility with

Benson working with renewable energy firm

October 12, 2018

Benson working with renewable energy firm
BENSON—City officials in Benson will be learning soon how much of the former Benson Power biomass facility will be dismantled and removed, but they are hoping that a large portion remains. The city is supporting a bid by a company in San Francisco, California, to purchase the fuel hall building, along with the administrative building and smaller, ancillary buildings on the campus in Benson. Brightmark Energy is working with the city of Benson in hopes of converting the site to a refinery to make

Plans for children’s mental health hospital approved; Willmar Planning Commission gives OK for facility plans

October 8, 2018

Plans for children’s mental health hospital approved; Willmar Planning Commission gives OK for facility plans
WILLMAR—Plans for a new 16-bed child and adolescent mental health hospital were approved Wednesday evening by the Willmar Planning Commission. The hospital will become the new home of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services, currently housed on the MinnWest Technology Campus. The new facility will allow for more youth to take part in the programs offered, as well as give both clients and staff a state-of-the-art facility. “It is a highly regulated facility that will require a lot of specialty

Developer proposes $28M housing project in NW Willmar

October 1, 2018

Developer proposes $28M housing project in NW Willmar
WILLMAR— The Willmar City Council heard Monday from a developer hoping to build a $28 million housing project on the northwest side of the city. “It is a pleasure to have a project come before the council,” Mayor Marv Calvin said during the council work session. “Businesses tell me on a regular basis they can’t expand because there isn’t enough housing.” Samuel Herzog, of JH LLC, is requesting tax increment financing assistance for a multi-family housing development

Willmar Wye road contractor selected

September 27, 2018

Willmar Wye road contractor selected
WILLMAR — Out of three contractor finalists for the road portion of the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project, also known as the Willmar Wye, The Hoffman Team was selected as the best value proposal, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, District 8. The decision was made following the bid opening on Wednesday. The Hoffman Team is made up of Hoffman Construction Company, Lunda Construction Company and Bolton & Menk Inc. The group will both

A tangled web of trade and tariffs: Speakers in Willmar discuss Minnesota impact, especially on agriculture

September 21, 2018

A tangled web of trade and tariffs: Speakers in Willmar discuss Minnesota impact, especially on agriculture
WILLMAR — Minnesota is a major player in both domestic and international trade. For businesses, producers, manufacturers and consumers, the recent trade disputes with many of the United States’ trading partners have caused questions and concerns to arise. “There have been a lot of questions about what all this means,” said Ken Warner, president of the Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce. In hopes of answering some of those queries and providing education on a very complex