Willmar

Renaissance Zone could bring about a rebirth of downtown Willmar

December 22, 2020

Renaissance Zone could bring about a rebirth of downtown Willmar
WILLMAR—When downtown and a portion of the U.S. Highway 12 commercial corridor were chosen as Willmar’s lone federal Opportunity Zone, David Ramstad and his staff at city Planning and Development definitely saw an opportunity. While the Opportunity Zone as a tool is geared more toward developers with deep pockets and capital gains, Ramstad wanted Willmar’s zone to become a rebirth for the poorest area of town. Out of those dreams came the Willmar Renaissance Zone and a list of

EDC tallies $3.3M in local business relief grants

November 14, 2020

EDC tallies $3.3M in local business relief grants
The Coronavirus Relief Program [sic], which provided grant funding—and for some, a lifeline—for hundreds of area businesses and nonprofits hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession, has come to a close. When everything is finalized at the end of the year, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) Director Aaron Backman estimates the EDC will have doled out about $3.5 million in assistance. “That is a significant sum for us, it’s a significant

Willmar, Kandiyohi County continue to give relief to local businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19

November 9, 2020

Willmar, Kandiyohi County continue to give relief to local businesses and nonprofits impacted by COVID-19
WILLMAR—When Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar began planning how to spend the stimulus funds each received from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, both the County Board and City Council were clear where they thought the most relief was needed—small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the pandemic and related shutdown. Each initially transferred at least $1 million of its CARES allocation to the county and city Economic Development Commission which

Snow slows downs U.S. Highway 12 completion in Willmar

October 27, 2020

Snow slows downs U.S. Highway 12 completion in Willmar
WILLMAR—The early arrival of winter, or at least a sneak peek of it, has caused a delay in the completion of the realignment of U.S. Highway 12 on the western edge of Willmar, a part of the Willmar Wye railroad bypass project. According to the weekly wye update released Monday by the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8, the new Highway 12 probably won’t be open for traffic until mid-November. It had been hoped that portion of the project would be complete by the end of October. Read

Willmar City Council open to exploring Willmar 10’s city hall proposal

October 20, 2020

Willmar City Council open to exploring Willmar 10’s city hall proposal
The Willmar 10 Investment Group presented their idea to the Willmar City Council about where a new city hall and community center could go. The local group of investors wants to purchase the old JCPenney location in Uptown Willmar and remodel it into a combined city hall and community center. The City Council gave its permission for city staff to work with the Willmar 10 group in answering several questions about the proposal, including just how much it would cost and how the city would finance it. Read

‘Gaps,’ intersection safety among issues emerging in freight study

October 19, 2020

‘Gaps,’ intersection safety among issues emerging in freight study
WILLMAR—Some familiar issues are emerging as the District 8 office of the Minnesota Department of Transportation looks at how to improve intermodal freight movement in the southwest counties of the state. Safety is chief among them: The district has a high rate of severe accidents at its high-traffic intersections, Lindsey Bruer, planning director for District 8, told members of the district’s Area Transportation Partnership at its Oct. 9 meeting. She said the crash record was consistently

State bonding bill includes funding for youth facilities in Willmar

October 17, 2020

State bonding bill includes funding for youth facilities in Willmar
WILLMAR — It took nearly a year, but the 2020 state bonding bill finally found its way to Gov. Tim Walz’s desk this week. Following passage in both the state House of Representatives and the Senate, Walz has indicated he will sign the $1.9 billion infrastructure bill into law. Included in the package is funding for projects at both Prairie Lakes Youth Programs and the brand new Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health Services facilities in Willmar. Read the full article by the West Central

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone

October 5, 2020

Willmar creates a Renaissance Zone
The City of Willmar is interested in creating the conditions for a strong and vibrant downtown area. To that end on May 4, 2020 the Willmar City Council adopted the Renaissance Zone, which is a new zoning overlay district encompassing the Central Business District and adjacent areas. The new Willmar Renaissance Zone  is a 5-year pilot program intended to encourage investment, job creation, development, creativity and vibrancy in the designated area. This district will offer greater flexibility relative

Partnerships Result in Poultry Certification Courses

October 5, 2020

Partnerships Result in Poultry Certification Courses
The EDC conducts strategic planning each year to set priority issues and focus the work of its committees and staff. The information we get from local businesses is imperative in our planning process. For the last three years we have had as one of our priorities, efforts to recruit, retain and train workforce for the area. We have worked on that goal in many ways, including the creation of a video to show the fun, food and other amenities available in our area. The video is available to businesses

Willmar Poultry Group celebrates 75 years

September 5, 2020

Willmar Poultry Group celebrates 75 years
WILLMAR—Willmar Poultry Group is celebrating 75 years in business, according to a news release from the company. Originally started as the Willmar Poultry & Egg Company by Albert Huisinga, Herman Nelson and Albin Norling on July 25, 1945, with the purchase of an old livestock pavilion, the business, most well-known as Willmar Poultry Company, has grown from one local company with three employees to a group of eight affiliated companies with 1,600 employees spanning multiple states and countries. Read