News

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

Spurs Grill & Bar opens in downtown Willmar: Dream come true for owner

September 19, 2018

Spurs Grill & Bar opens in downtown Willmar: Dream come true for owner
The opening of Spurs Grill & Bar in downtown Willmar took about three years longer than expected, but the wait has been worth it for owner and operator Esperanza Aydee Lopez. “It’s a dream come true,” said Lopez. “I’m very excited to bring unique dishes to Willmar.” Lopez, 41, has worked in food service most of her life but this is her first venture as a restaurant owner. Located at 313 Fourth St. S.W. in a 1937-era Art Deco building known as Historic 313

Hand-on learning: New Willmar Senior High course is private-public partnership

September 11, 2018

Hand-on learning: New Willmar Senior High course is private-public partnership
WILLMAR—A groundbreaking public/private partnership between local companies and Willmar Public Schools has begun with its first dozen students at Willmar Senior High. The new Manufacturing and Production course this fall will take students who have an interest in areas like welding, drafting, mechanics and construction and give them a hands-on learning experience with five local businesses. If this first class goes well, the program could eventually expand to other area schools. There’s a