News

Kandiyohi County broadband projects receive nearly $6 million

January 11, 2017

Kandiyohi County broadband projects receive nearly $6 million
WILLMAR—Local leaders greeted the announcement of broadband grant funds Wednesday with enthusiasm, calling it good news for rural Kandiyohi County. Two projects in Kandiyohi County made the list of recipients of border-to-border technology infrastructure development grants, announced Wednesday by state officials. Consolidated Telecommunications Co. will receive $4.94 million to improve high-speed internet services in a rural neighborhood that includes the New London, Spicer and Willmar areas. The

Gauging the health of agriculture

November 22, 2016

Gauging the health of agriculture
WILLMAR—A survey that will gauge the current health and provide a glimpse of the future growth of agriculture in Kandiyohi County will be conducted this winter with the goal of finding solutions to issues that farmers identify as problems. Multiple teams of volunteers are being recruited to conduct face-to-face surveys with 65 active farmers who will be asked to respond to questions about their operations and what they see for their farms’ future. The survey may reveal “red flag”

EDC Encourages Expansion

November 21, 2016

EDC Encourages Expansion
During 2016, the EDC has been working to assist several expansions, including the Kandi Mall Rehabilitation Project, Glacial Ridge Hospitality, and the ERC expansion. Each of these projects not only offers significant capital investment, but also involves a lot of planning and interaction with businesses. Through these projects and more, around 350 new jobs will be generated in Kandiyohi County during the next two years. The EDC is committed to working with the business community to create opportunities

EDC reinforces marketing for Willmar’s ‘shovel-ready’ industrial park

November 2, 2016

EDC reinforces marketing for Willmar’s ‘shovel-ready’ industrial park
WILLMAR—Now that streets, utilities and a “shovel-ready” certification are in place for the development of a new section of the Willmar Industrial Park, a reinforced marketing campaign is underway to get the space filled. At its recent meeting, the joint powers board of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission was shown a newly completed promotional flier the EDC will use to promote the 241-acre site. A color-coded map on the one-page document identifies

A diamond in the rough

September 16, 2016

A diamond in the rough
NEW LONDON—Two tax abatement hearings are scheduled for next month on a proposed $7.8 million project to build a hotel, event center, restaurant and new pro shop at the Little Crow Country Club near New London. A hearing will be Oct. 4 during the meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners, when a request for a 10-year county tax abatement totaling $750,812 will be reviewed. The New London-Spicer School Board will conduct a similar hearing Oct. 10 on a request to abate $272,882 in taxes

Kandi Mall abatement approved by city, county

September 8, 2016

Kandi Mall abatement approved by city, county
WILLMAR — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Willmar City Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for Willmar’s Kandi Mall. A public hearing was held before the vote. The Kandiyohi County Board also met Tuesday and unanimously approved the county’s share of the abatement. RockStep Capital, who purchased the mall last year, is planning on a major rehabilitation project at the mall. It includes the remodeling of the old Kmart store space at the south end, constructing a new retail building

Broadband expansion proposal targets northern Kandiyohi County

September 7, 2016

Broadband expansion proposal targets northern Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—Northern Kandiyohi County has been selected as the preferred area for a broadband expansion project that will be submitted next month for possible state grant funding. The proposed target area was unveiled Tuesday to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners. Deciding on a service area is one of the key steps as the county and Consolidated Telephone Co. of Brainerd, the county’s private-sector partner, ready themselves to apply for a share of $35 million through the state’s

EDC group learns about aeroponics system to grow produce locally, year-round

September 6, 2016

EDC group learns about aeroponics system to grow produce locally, year-round
WILLMAR—A proposal to grow fresh lettuce and herbs year-round with nothing more than air, light and a fine mist of water and nutrients was presented last month to a local ag-based committee that is more familiar with growing crops in soil. Aeroponics, which involves growing plants by having roots exposed to oxygen and fed with a mist of water, could be an answer to consumers who want locally grown product and an answer to an entrepreneur looking for a new business, said Dana Anderson, CEO of Living

New London business expands to raise seafood

August 30, 2016

New London business expands to raise seafood
NEW LONDON—Mark Tanner’s business of raising walleye to stock popular fishing lakes is about as Minnesotan as you can get. But he hopes his new sideline business of raising saltwater shrimp for people to buy fresh by the pound and take home to grill, boil or saute with butter will become a new Minnesota tradition. “They’re good,” said Tanner, commenting on the home-grown shrimp he taste-tested recently. Locals will have a chance to find that out for themselves this week

Feasibility study supports need for rural broadband in Kandiyohi County

August 16, 2016

Feasibility study supports need for rural broadband in Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—Expanding broadband to all the areas of Kandiyohi County that are unserved or underserved will cost an estimated $60 million to $68 million, a feasibility study has concluded. The study also found significant demand for better broadband in rural Kandiyohi County and ripe opportunities for addressing what has long been seen as a critical infrastructure need. “There is great support in the county for the project,” said Blake Griffin, an engineer with Communication Network Engineering,