News

Delta Dental awards grant to Rice dental clinic

October 22, 2017

Delta Dental awards grant to Rice dental clinic
WILLMAR—Delta Dental of Minnesota Foundation has awarded a $120,000 grant to the Rice Health Foundation to add an advanced dental therapist to the staff of Rice Regional Dental Clinic. The new staff position will expand access to oral health care for an estimated additional 3,000 patient visits annually. The Rice Regional Dental Clinic provides dental services to children and adults from a 17-county area in southwestern Minnesota who have limited access to care. The clinic sees 35 to 40 patients

15th Street Flats clears major hurdle

October 21, 2017

15th Street Flats clears major hurdle
WILLMAR—The potential workforce housing development planned for Willmar, called 15th Street Flats, has conquered a major hurdle this week, as the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency approved approximately $8 million in tax credits and $1,259,000 in Minnesota Housing investment. “I am really happy. This is significant,” said Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. According to Minnesota Housing, the tax credits are dollar-for-dollar

Golf season to construction season: Groundbreaking slated next week for Little Crow Country Club project

October 17, 2017

Golf season to construction season: Groundbreaking slated next week for Little Crow Country Club project
NEW LONDON—When the golfing season ends next week at the Little Crow Country Club, the construction season will begin. A $7.8 million project will change the face of the popular New London area golf course and put it at a new level in the recreation and hospitality realm. Groundbreaking for the project—which includes a 51-room GrandStay hotel with swimming pool, 300-seat event center with a west vista of the golf course, and new 75-seat restaurant, pro shop, driving range and parking lot—will

Highway 23 Coalition makes pitch to transportation commissioner

October 14, 2017

Highway 23 Coalition makes pitch to transportation commissioner
SPICER—On a bus ride from Paynesville to Spicer, Minnesota Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle saw trucks hauling wind turbine blades south on Highway 23. Zelle jokingly asked members of the Highway 23 Coalition Friday if they had arranged for those trucks so he could see the need for a four-lane state Highway 23 from Willmar to Interstate 94. The coalition hosted Zelle at a luncheon in Spicer and took him on tours of pending road projects, including the Willmar Wye. Currently, the road has

Plan OK’d for commercial development on Willmar’s 1st Street South

September 28, 2017

Plan OK’d for commercial development on Willmar’s 1st Street South
WILLMAR—As the Willmar City Council considers whether to establish a redevelopment tax increment financing district for lots along First Street South, between Minnesota and Monongalia Avenues, the Planning Commission on Tuesday night approved a site plan for a new development on the west side of that possible TIF district. “Now it is vacant land that is prepared for development,” said Megan DeSchepper, Willmar planner. The property description is Lots 1-7, Block 67, First Addition to

Willmar joins Highway 23 Coalition seeking funds to close four-lane gaps

August 30, 2017

Willmar joins Highway 23 Coalition seeking funds to close four-lane gaps
WILLMAR—The city of Willmar has officially joined the Highway 23 Coalition. “This has been a long-term project,” said Councilor Kathy Schwantes. While the coalition has been in existence for several years now, there has been a recent push to become more formally organized in an attempt to persuade the state to approve money for state Highway 23 projects. “The coalition has been seeking state funding to complete the two four-lane gaps on Highway 23 between Willmar and I-94,”

Two more Kwik Trips possible in Willmar

August 28, 2017

Two more Kwik Trips possible in Willmar
WILLMAR—Kwik Trip is continuing its planned expansion into Willmar. The Willmar Planning Commission last week conducted three public hearings tied to two new gas station and convenience stores. The commission approved conditional use permits for gas sales, but some further actions are still required. Both of the planned stores would be on redeveloped land left vacant after Mills Auto moved to the south side of Willmar. One Kwik Trip is planned on property located along the west side of First Street

Simply Shrimp: Blomkest farmer raises saltwater shrimp in former dairy calving barn

August 14, 2017

Simply Shrimp: Blomkest farmer raises saltwater shrimp in former dairy calving barn
BLOMKEST—When the Damhof family of Blomkest retired from the dairy business after 50 years of milking cows earlier this year, they didn’t retire from raising livestock completely. Today, instead of Holstein dairy cows filling the barns, there are now tens of thousands of Pacific white shrimp being raised in what was once a calving barn. “It has been very rewarding, very successful,” said Paul Damhof, who founded and is running Simply Shrimp LLC. Assisting him are members of his

Industrial Park land write-down policy amended

August 9, 2017

Industrial Park land write-down policy amended
WILLMAR—Those interested in purchasing land in the Willmar Industrial Park 3rd and 4th Additions, and using the city’s Industrial Land Pricing Write-Down policy to reduce the purchase price, will have to put a little more money into their land purchase starting Jan. 1. The Willmar City Council amended the policy Monday and set the maximum allowed write-down credit at 75 percent of the stated price of the property. The existing policy had no such cap and said only that the write-down could