News

Highway 23 gap projects moving forward

October 19, 2020

Highway 23 gap projects moving forward
WILLMAR—Progress continues to be made to construct the four-lane “gaps” on Minnesota Highway 23 between New London and Richmond ahead of the original schedule. Plans are on track to construct the south and north gaps in a three-year span, from 2022 through 2024, Jon Huseby, District 8 engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation, told members of the Area Transportation Partnership Oct. 9. Read the full article by the West Central Tribune.

‘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

Expanded Business Criteria for Additional $500,000 in CARES Act Relief Funds for EDC CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program

October 12, 2020

Expanded Business Criteria for Additional $500,000 in CARES Act Relief Funds for EDC CARES Pandemic Relief Grant Program
Effective immediately, Kandiyohi County businesses that have been in operation since January 1, 2020 and can show at least a 20% loss in revenue in the first part of the year can now apply. “The CPR planning team approved adjusting the required revenue loss down from 25% to 20%. Several businesses applied that were just under the 25% threshold. This additional funding means we can re-connect with those businesses, as well as continue to get the word out to all businesses and nonprofits,” said

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

Efforts to secure REAL broadband continue

October 5, 2020

Efforts to secure REAL broadband continue
Many rural Kandiyohi County residents still remain without access to high-speed broadband and the many benefits that come from having such access. The situation has never been more apparent than in the past months of social distancing, working from home and distance learning.    The Broadband and Advanced Technology Committee of the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC) is a committee focused on securing high-speed broadband for all people in our county. The

Supporting our businesses during the pandemic

October 5, 2020

Supporting our businesses during the pandemic
The EDC has been actively assisting businesses throughout Kandiyohi County since the pandemic emergency was declared in mid-March of this year.  First, it created the COVID-19 Business Assistance Loan (COBAL)  Program that provided up to $5,000 in zero percent loans to affected businesses. Second, in May, the EDC provided small grants of $325 to all 88 home childcare providers in the County.  Third, with the help of funding from the Southwest Initiative Foundation, it created the Immigrant Business

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County

September 12, 2020

More than $2 million in COVID-19 relief awarded to businesses and nonprofits in Kandiyohi County
WILLMAR—When you add up all the money that has so far been awarded to small businesses and nonprofits through coronavirus relief programs run by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission, the total is more than $2 million. Since March the EDC has established a handful of grant or loan programs focused on providing financial relief to businesses in the county hit hard by economic impacts tied to the virus outbreak. The programs include the CARES Pandemic Relief Program,
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