KANDIYOHI COUNTY — Frustrations about broadband boiled over recently during a meeting of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission ‘s joint powers board. Frustrations were also shared during a recent roundtable discussion in Willmar with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon. The EDC wants to see fiber across the county, providing equal access to all residents, and the EDC’s broadband committee has been working on the issue for a couple of decades,
WILLMAR — Hemponix will open a new hemp retail store and ecommerce/warehouse site Friday at 1425 First St. S. in Willmar, according to Hemponix Facebook page. Hemponix is a hemp farm located in rural New London that transitioned from an aeroponic lettuce-growing operation to a hemp-growing operation in 2018, according to Hemponix founder and master grower Kevin Ortenblad. It was one of the first hemp farms in the state, Hemponix chief executive and partner Sam Romain told the Willmar City Council
WILLMAR — Nexyst, in the next 60 days, plans to close on a $1.1 million purchase agreement for at least 137 acres in the Willmar Industrial Park to accommodate a $40 million project — constructing an agricultural distribution complex — according to Aaron Backman, executive director of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission. “This is kind of an exciting development,” he said as he shared a site plan with Planning Commission members on Nov. 16. The project
The Office of Broadband website now includes access to apply for the line extension connection program. There’s a little background… In the 2022 Legislative Session, the Office of Broadband Development (OBD) was directed to create a new program, the Broadband Line Extension Connection Program. The purpose of the program is to award grants for the extension of existing broadband infrastructure to unserved locations. An unserved location is a location that does not have a wired broadband service
WILLMAR — The old Pizza Hut building is being torn down to make way for a new drive-thru restaurant — Slim Chickens — set to open about mid-2023. Slim Chickens, which will be located at 1605 First St. S. in Willmar, will have seating for up to 70 people, but 60 to 65% of its business is typically drive-thru, according to owner Steve Letnes. The Willmar Planning Commission approved site plans for the new restaurant at its Oct. 5 meeting. Read the full article by the West Central Tribune.
WILLMAR — Vaxxinova US , originally called Epitopix, is looking to expand in the Willmar area by purchasing additional land surrounding its manufacturing facility northwest of Willmar. Brian Harberts, Vaxxinova’s director of finance, reached out to the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission to discuss purchasing some of the land which the county owns west of the manufacturing facility, EDC Executive Director Aaron Backman told the EDC’s joint operations board
WILLMAR — As work on the North Gap of the Highway 23 Gaps expansion project has wound down for the winter, members of the Highway 23 Coalition continue to work on their overarching mission. “We’ve been working for quite some time on creating a four-lane, safe Highway 23 corridor from border to border,” said coalition chair Jeff Bertram at the Nov. 1 meeting of the Kandiyohi County Board. Minnesota Highway 23 runs from just west of Luverne to Duluth, approximately 343 miles across
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County is proud of its lakes, parks and trails and the recreation opportunities they bring. Five years ago, the county decided it needed an established plan for its bike and pedestrian trail network, one that not only mapped out what was currently available but listed future expansions the county hoped to one day complete. “We wanted to develop a plan where we had safe and convenient bike and pedestrian networks for anyone in Kandiyohi County and anyone passing through,”
WILLMAR — Since the county’s earliest days, agriculture has played an outsized role in the economic health and vitality of Kandiyohi County. The county often ranks in the top 10 in the state for various agricultural productions including turkeys, poultry, sheep, sugar beets and aquaculture. In the 2017 USDA Farm Census, Kandiyohi County ranked 10th in the state for market value of agricultural products sold, at $424,078,000. Given those numbers, it might be surprising that some feel it
HAWICK — Tiffany Farrier knew practically nothing about farm life — and even less about raising goats — when she moved to Hawick in 2017 and purchased a 30-acre farm site with her husband. “I was kind of intimidated,” Farrier said, who moved to Minnesota from Las Vegas. Yet, a few years later she now operates Kandi Acres, a 500-head goat farm, the only one in the state that is halal-certified. Read the full article by the West Central Tribune.