economic development

2017 Ag Producer BRE Report

April 6, 2017

2017 Ag Producer BRE Report
The EDC recently completed interviewing 51 ag producers in Kandiyohi County.  The data was compiled and analyzed by Jim Molenaar, who presented the data at two workshops on April 5, 2017.  Ag producers, local business leaders and officials received the data and then discussed strategies to move the reports findings forward.  Click on the link 2017 Ag Producer BRE Report to view the report.

Planning for Willmar airport’s future

April 2, 2017

Planning for Willmar airport’s future
WILLMAR—It’s been 20 years since the Willmar Airport Master Plan was updated. Back then the city was involved with the major venture of moving the airport to its current location on state Highway 40. “All it talks about is how we’re going to build this new airport. We are a little past that now,” said Airport Manager Megan DeSchepper. The master plan will lay out the short-, mid-, and long-term development plans for the airport. “It will set goals and policies on how

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project

April 1, 2017

Sign-up underway for Kandiyohi County broadband project
WILLMAR—Customer sign-ups are underway as Consolidated Telecommunications Co. begins laying the groundwork to bring high-speed internet to rural north central Kandiyohi County. The last in a series of meet-and-greet sessions on the project will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Dethlefs Center in Spicer. Representatives of the company will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. There also will be a chance to sign up for the service. Commitments from future users will be important

TimeWorn Wood

February 14, 2017

TimeWorn Wood
ATWATER—At first glance, the rural Atwater home of Jared and Amanda Groebner looks like a typical Minnesota farm with a well-kept classic barn and workshop. But instead of producing grain and livestock, the Groebners make hand-crafted, rustic and refined wooden table tops with a smooth-as-silk finish that are shipped to high-end restaurants, small cafes, metro bars, popular coffee shops and unique entertainment venues in all 50 states and several countries. Every week the Groebners’ one-of-a-kind

New London, Spicer approve more than 50 building permits each in 2016

January 28, 2017

New London, Spicer approve more than 50 building permits each in 2016
As part of their year in review for 2016, New London and Spicer took a look at their respective building permits for last year, and both had relatively good years. In 2016, New London approved 98 building permits for a total valuation of $18 million, city administrator Trudie Guptill said. Of that, $15 million in valuation was for New London-Spicer schools, which is in the midst of a $21.635 million building project. Also among the 98 building permits were nine new single-family homes and one twin

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

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