News

You can now apply for Minnesota Broadband Line Extension Funding

November 17, 2022

You can now apply for Minnesota Broadband Line Extension Funding
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

Crews demolish former Pizza Hut building in Willmar to make way for Slim Chickens restaurant coming in 2023

November 16, 2022

Crews demolish former Pizza Hut building in Willmar to make way for Slim Chickens restaurant coming in 2023
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.

Vaxxinova US, formerly Epitopix, plans $10 million to $20 million investment for expansion in Willmar

November 15, 2022

Vaxxinova US, formerly Epitopix, plans $10 million to $20 million investment for expansion in Willmar
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

Kandiyohi County Board supports a new Highway 23 project near Willmar

November 14, 2022

Kandiyohi County Board supports a new Highway 23 project near Willmar
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

Kandiyohi County to update Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan

November 8, 2022

Kandiyohi County to update Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan
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,”

Ag and Renewable Energy Committee acts as promoter for agriculture in Kandiyohi County

November 7, 2022

Ag and Renewable Energy Committee acts as promoter for agriculture in Kandiyohi County
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

Kandi Acres farm raises its hundreds of goats by following the tenets of halal

November 7, 2022

Kandi Acres farm raises its hundreds of goats by following the tenets of halal
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.

‘Big ideas’ come from Willmar Mayor’s Housing Task Force

November 1, 2022

‘Big ideas’ come from Willmar Mayor’s Housing Task Force
WILLMAR — “Big ideas” for how to solve Willmar’s single-family housing issue were shared with the Willmar City Council during the Oct. 24 meeting. Paul Borene, the chair of the Willmar Mayor’s Housing Task Force, said the task force effort was long overdue. “This should have been done, maybe, years ago; years and years ago,” he said. The bottom line of the 10-page report is that the city of Willmar, along with support from Kandiyohi County, should create a public-private program

Woodland Centers increases access to mental health services

October 30, 2022

Woodland Centers increases access to mental health services
WILLMAR — Improving access to mental health services such as counseling and treatment remains a priority for both Kandiyohi County and Woodland Centers. Even as society continues to come back from the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the need for mental health services remains strong, and in some cases growing. The Kandiyohi County Board heard the annual report from Woodland Centers on Oct. 18, and was provided a look into what the past year has been like for the mental health

Ribbon-cutting celebrates completion of nearly $50 million Willmar Wye rail bypass project

October 25, 2022

Ribbon-cutting celebrates completion of nearly $50 million Willmar Wye rail bypass project
WILLMAR—It has taken more than a decade, but the wait is finally over. The Willmar Connector and Industrial Access Project—a nearly $50 million railroad bypass project—is completed and ready to receive train traffic. Dignitaries from various partners involved in the project, along with local, regional and state government officials, gathered in Willmar on Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting and train ride to celebrate the accomplishment that is the Willmar Wye. . . . “We are already seeing
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