News

Little Crow Country Club Continues to Transform

December 6, 2017

Little Crow Country Club Continues to Transform
The GrandStay Hotel & Event Center Project at Little Crow Country Club is officially underway!   Plans for the 51-room hotel, 300-seat event center, 75-seat restaurant and new Little Crow Country Club clubhouse finalized in early 2017; however, it took longer than initially envisioned to complete the $2.35 million equity drive for the project. Once the funding came together in July, the project moved ahead quickly. Architectural plans finalized during the summer, loan closing occurred in early

15th Street Affordable Flats Approved by MN Housing Finance Agency

December 6, 2017

15th Street Affordable Flats Approved by MN Housing Finance Agency
MHFA Approves $15.8 million in Affordable Housing for Willmar On October 19, 2017, the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency announced it approved funding for two multi-family affordable housing projects in Willmar—15th Street Flats and Hanson Apartments. The former is a $9.3 million project that involves new construction of a building with 47 rental units on the southeast side of Willmar. The latter is a $6.5 million project that includes acquisition and rehabilitation of 56 rental units in two buildings

West Central Steel’s growth continues: Latest expansion to house parts production

November 28, 2017

West Central Steel’s growth continues: Latest expansion to house parts production
WILLMAR—West Central Steel of Willmar is expanding for the ninth time in its nearly 40-year history, bringing more services to its customers and more jobs to the region. “It has been quite a project,” said Jeff Pattison, president of West Central Steel. The latest project has been in planning for several years, but officially kicked off in fall 2016, when the company obtained over five acres of land next to its current location on U.S. Highway 12 near the Willmar Industrial Park. This

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