Willmar

Willmar hospital and clinic seek affiliation with CentraCare of St. Cloud

May 25, 2017

Willmar hospital and clinic seek affiliation with CentraCare of St. Cloud
WILLMAR—Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers formally agreed to a letter of intent Wednesday night to join forces with CentraCare Health of St. Cloud. It’s the first step toward forming a new corporation to collaboratively deliver health care in Willmar and the region. Leaders of both organizations said the move will help preserve and enhance local health care in the face of accelerating change. “As a board we know health care is changing rapidly,” said

Students unveil businesses: CEO Trade Show highlights young entrepreneurs

May 23, 2017

Students unveil businesses: CEO Trade Show highlights young entrepreneurs
WILLMAR—Wyatt Allen was ready. He greeted a visitor to his trade show booth with a firm handshake and his “elevator speech” about Origin Content Development, his business providing original content for their social media marketing plans. Allen and 20 of his classmates in the Kandiyohi County Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities Program presented their fledgling businesses to the public at a trade show a week ago on the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar. This is the third year

Opening Kandi Mall to more than just retail uses

May 21, 2017

Opening Kandi Mall to more than just retail uses
WILLMAR—While the Kandi Mall in Willmar has so far dodged any store closings in recent months, Andy Weiner, president of RockStep Capital, who owns the retail center, warned the Willmar Planning Commission that the mall could be facing an unsure future. “This property is too big for current and future retail in Willmar. That is a fact,” Weiner said during a conference call with the commission on May 10. Department stores and national retail brands are struggling with plummeting sales,

Housing project could bring 45 affordable units to Willmar

May 20, 2017

Housing project could bring 45 affordable units to Willmar
WILLMAR—Housing availability, especially workforce housing, has been a topic of concern in Willmar for some time. A potential development could help alleviate some of the strain, by bringing 45 high-quality and affordable units to Willmar. “The city has an opportunity to participate in a workforce housing project. This is the first one we’ve been able to sink our teeth into,” Willmar Planning and Development Director Bruce Peterson said Monday during a work session of the Willmar

Environmental work complete on Willmar Wye

May 17, 2017

Environmental work complete on Willmar Wye
WILLMAR—The Willmar Wye rail bypass project has completed a big step in the process this week. The Federal Rail Administration and the Federal Highway Administration have signed off on the Finding of No Significant Impact document, which is the last step in the environmental portion of the project, the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced Tuesday in a news release. The impact document is based on the environmental assessment worksheet, which evaluates the need, environmental issues

Ground broken for new Willmar Surgery Center

May 11, 2017

Ground broken for new Willmar Surgery Center
WILLMAR—Ground was officially broken Wednesday for a new $11 million outpatient surgery center that will enhance the level of care and meet growing community needs for same-day, lower-cost surgical services. The project is being undertaken by Willmar Medical Services, a joint venture of Rice Memorial Hospital and Affiliated Community Medical Centers. “It’s an exciting time for all of us,” said Mike Schramm, president of Willmar Medical Services and chief executive of Rice Hospital. The

What do rural Minnesotans think?

May 2, 2017

What do rural Minnesotans think?
The Minnesota Farmers Union unveiled its report What Do Rural People Think? on April 26, 2017.  It is a distillation of 14 conversations in 14 rural communities held between March 27 and April 26, 2017. Here’s the quick summary (broadband is #3!) Since the 2016 national, state and local elections, there seems to be an ever-present question on the minds of policymakers, elected officials, the media and organizations of all kinds: What do rural people think? $43,429 per year is too much

EDC boards determine 2017 goals

April 28, 2017

EDC boards determine 2017 goals
At their recently held strategic planning session, the EDC’s boards identified four overarching goals on which to focus their efforts: The EDC will strengthen partnerships and connections with existing businesses to be a catalyst and build capacity for organic growth.  The EDC will explore and increase operations to support efforts to improve the tax base by attracting new residents with higher income and educational levels. The EDC will position and market itself as the expert in business

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

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future

March 25, 2017

Developing a vision: EDC reviews retail data to help economic strategy for the future
WILLMAR—A newly completed report with data that show the strengths and weaknesses in retail trade in the city of Willmar and Kandiyohi County is being used to develop a vision and strategy for continued economic growth in the community. During a day-long planning session Thursday at the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center in rural Spicer, members of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission got a look at the graphs and summaries in the 43-page report that