Willmar

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

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

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month

August 24, 2018

15th Street Flats expected to break ground next month
WILLMAR—The way is clear for Commonwealth Development to break ground 15th Street Flats, the new multi-unit housing project which will offer 47 apartments for a wide range of Willmar renters. The Willmar City Council this week approved the tax increment financing development agreement between the city and developer, the last step before construction. “They hope to break ground next month,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development Services director, speaking at Monday’s

Lack of child care a barrier to economic development

August 21, 2018

Lack of child care a barrier to economic development
WILLMAR—Not having enough safe, affordable and accessible child care facilities is being tagged as a growing barrier to economic development in west central Minnesota, including Kandiyohi County where it’s estimated another 776 child care slots are currently needed. Businesses that struggle to find workers because potential employees are unable to find child care—and child care providers who struggle to stay in business because of regulations and employee pay—are major components of a growing

Greater Minnesota cities struggle to sustain their oldest homes—but loans and education are helping

August 20, 2018

Greater Minnesota cities struggle to sustain their oldest homes—but loans and education are helping
On a hot August morning, in one of Willmar’s oldest neighborhoods, stucco bungalows, ramblers and an American Foursquare here and there stand under the shade of massive trees, set close together, bordered by sidewalks. It’s a charming scene, at first glance, yet many of these homes clearly need repair. “It’s the oldest housing stock in town,” said Jill Bengtson, the executive director of the Kandiyohi County Housing and Redevelopment Authority. Many of the homes are owned by low-income

Major Willmar Industrial Park development proposed, possible package sorting and distribution center

August 20, 2018

Major Willmar Industrial Park development proposed, possible package sorting and distribution center
WILLMAR—A yet-to-be named business is interested in constructing a package sorting and distribution center in the Willmar Industrial Park, a business which could bring dozens of new jobs. “They haven’t released the name, but you have heard of it. It is not going to be a secret; they are a big player,” said Bruce Peterson, Willmar Planning and Development Services director, addressing Monday’s meeting of the Willmar City Council. “They will be running loads of product

That #KanDo Mentality That Can Only Mean Success

August 14, 2018

That #KanDo Mentality That Can Only Mean Success
For almost 15 years, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) has been working hard to serve as a catalyst for economic growth in its region.  In 2017, Business in Focus took a closer look at this dynamic organization and all of the great initiatives the EDC was working on in partnership with other sectors to make the City and County a vibrant and attractive place to live and do business.  Read the entire article on the EDC and Kandiyohi County featured in

Willmar council OKs steps to accept $1.2M rehab grant

August 6, 2018

Willmar council OKs steps to accept $1.2M rehab grant
WILLMAR—Homes located on the northside of downtown Willmar and businesses within the downtown business district will soon be able to apply for no-interest, deferred loans for eligible rehabilitation projects. The city’s application for a Small Cities block grant of $1,205,177 was approved earlier this summer by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. “This project is for assisting homeowners and business in the downtown area on district heat, to help them with

A year full of play and pride: Willmar’s Destination Playground exceeds goals

July 22, 2018

A year full of play and pride: Willmar’s Destination Playground exceeds goals
WILLMAR—It has been just over a year since the Willmar Destination Playground at Robbins Island Regional Park opened to the cheers of delight from adults and children alike. It is as popular today as it was on its grand opening weekend, with people coming from near and far to spend a few hours at the fully accessible, 19,000-square-foot playground. “The use is probably more than I anticipated,” Gary Mazner, Willmar Public Works superintendent said. “You see bus loads out there