News

On the hunt for more broadband funding

July 27, 2021

On the hunt for more broadband funding
WILLMAR—While the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of challenges, it has also made a few opportunities. One of those is the sudden rise in funding available for broadband projects, thanks to the American Rescue Plan. The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners has already decided to focus most of the county’s share of the federal funding to broadband, bringing a big lift to the work being done by the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission broadband committee. “They

Understanding the future of farming after COVID is theme of Partners in Ag Innovation conference July 29 in Willmar

July 26, 2021

Understanding the future of farming after COVID is theme of Partners in Ag Innovation conference July 29 in Willmar
WILLMAR—Understanding the ag market after COVID-19 will be a topic for discussion during the third annual Partners in Ag Innovation seminar July 29 in Willmar. The theme for the event, which is scheduled from 7:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Thursday July 29, is “From Survive to Thrive.” The half-day seminar will be offered in a hybrid format that includes in-person attendance at the MinnWest Technology Campus in Willmar or an online option. The free event is sponsored by MinnWest and the Kandiyohi

Willmar Wye road construction is done, next step is rail

July 21, 2021

Willmar Wye road construction is done, next step is rail
WILLMAR—Two years after the first shovels full of dirt were moved in July 2019, the road construction portion of the Willmar Rail Connector and Industrial Access Project has been completed, minus a few little things that still need to be wrapped up. “For a project of this size and complexity, it went really well,” said Paul Rasmussen, project manager from the Minnesota Department of Transportation District 8. Work began on the project, better known as the Willmar Wye, on July 9,

Prinsburg’s quest to bring Broadband home continues

July 21, 2021

Prinsburg’s quest to bring Broadband home continues
Progress continues as the city of Prinsburg stays vigilant in their quest to bring Broadband to its residents for faster and more reliable internet access. After a meeting held with Rep. Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) earlier this year resulted with learning valuable information to move forward with their need, at the July regular monthly Prinsburg City Council meeting held July 13, council members held a Zoom meeting with Broadband planning consultant Connie Schmoll, CMCS Superintendent Jon De Groot

Willmar welcomes Leslie Valiant as new city administrator

July 19, 2021

Willmar welcomes Leslie Valiant as new city administrator
WILLMAR— When asked how her first day as the new Willmar City Administrator went, Leslie Valiant described it in one word. “A whirlwind, but it was good,” Valiant said during Monday’s Willmar City Council meeting. “Staff was wonderful, as I imagined they would be.” Valiant was hired as the city administrator on June 27. “I appreciate the chance. The opportunity is wonderful,” Valiant said. Prior to taking the top administration job in Willmar, Valiant

Suite Liv’n agrees to property maintenance agreement with Willmar in exchange for tax increment financing

July 13, 2021

Suite Liv’n agrees to property maintenance agreement with Willmar in exchange for tax increment financing
WILLMAR — Suite Liv’n, a rental developer and management company, currently has approximately 700 units in Willmar, and the company hopes to add at least another 72 with four new apartment buildings near Ridgewater College. To make the project financially feasible for Suite Liv’n, it is requesting a 15-year tax-increment financing district for the project from the city, which, if approved, would provide the company nearly $1.5 million total in returned taxes. However, to receive that

Willmar Planning Commission approves conditional use permit for Block 25 Lofts downtown

July 13, 2021

Willmar Planning Commission approves conditional use permit for Block 25 Lofts downtown
WILLMAR—The “for sale” signs on Block 25 in Willmar officially say sold and Lumber One Development Company of Avon hopes to begin construction this fall on the 57-unit, four-story apartment complex in downtown Willmar. At the special Willmar Planning Commission on June 30, the commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit for the project. “The project has proven financially feasible,” said David Ramstad, Willmar Planning and Development director. “They

Kandiyohi County successful in obtaining state grant for improvements at Big Kandi East

July 8, 2021

Kandiyohi County successful in obtaining state grant for improvements at Big Kandi East
WILLMAR — With $234,000 in hand from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Kandiyohi County is moving forward with improvements at Big Kandiyohi Lake County Park East. In February, the county applied for a 2022 Outdoor Recreation Grant to help fund the project at the park. Last week, County Administrator Larry Kleindl heard back from the state. “We were awarded that grant,” Kleindl said at Tuesday’s Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners meeting. The commissioners unanimously

‘Elevate’ has its first graduates

July 3, 2021

‘Elevate’ has its first graduates
WILLMAR—Learning how to successfully prepare, operate and manage a small business over the course of 12 weeks, five local entrepreneurs graduated June 16 from the first Elevate class in Minnesota. In a 2017 survey, the Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission found an increasing number of minority-owned businesses opening in and around Willmar. The EDC report was sponsored with a grant from Southwest Initiative Foundation to design and implement a Business Retention

Breaking ground on Willmar’s future

June 30, 2021

Breaking ground on Willmar’s future
WILLMAR—Moving forward with two of the largest Invest in the Willmar Local Option Sales Tax projects, the city of Willmar held its groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, June 30, at the Willmar Civic Center. “When you have events like this, you really need to sit back and reflect on the people that made it happen,” Willmar Mayor Marv Calvin said. The recreation fields project is budgeted for $6 million with the recreation and event center budgeted for $10 million. “For over two years, our
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