News

‘Taste of Downtown’ brings the community together in Willmar Fests’ Block Party 2021

June 24, 2021

‘Taste of Downtown’ brings the community together in Willmar Fests’ Block Party 2021
WILLMAR—The festival that started as a way to showcase Willmar’s love for coffee while highlighting the people and businesses that make this community what it is, Willmar Fests was finally able to celebrate its 75th anniversary in its 76th year. As the pandemic finally loosened its grip on Willmar and the rest of Minnesota, the Willmar Fests Board sought to highlight those businesses that make Willmar great—its small businesses. That’s when Willmar Fests Board member Sarah Swedburg

Broadband project gets a lift from the Kandiyohi County Board

June 15, 2021

Broadband project gets a lift from the Kandiyohi County Board
The Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners is seriously considering giving most of the county’s American Rescue Plan allotment, more than $8 million, to several high-speed broadband projects across the county. At Tuesday’s board meeting, the commissioners began that process by committing $1.3 million to a project that will expand high-speed broadband into four townships. Read the full story at the West Central Tribune.

Willmar sells downtown Block 25 parking lot

May 19, 2021

Willmar sells downtown Block 25 parking lot
WILLMAR—Lumber One Development Company will soon be the new owner of half of Block 25 in downtown Willmar. The Willmar City Council on Monday approved selling four city-owned parcels on the west side of the block for $1 per parcel. The developer plans to construct an apartment complex on the block, bringing much needed housing to the area. “This will be the first private project of its size and cost in downtown Willmar in many decades,” said David Ramstad, Willmar Planning and Development

A welcoming Willmar

May 1, 2021

A welcoming Willmar
WILLMAR— When the Willmar Welcoming Resolution was passed by the City Council back in May 2018, there were some comments about whether words on a page could really make Willmar a more open and welcoming city. Three years later Willmar Main Street, along with $27,000 in funding from Blue Cross Blue Shield/Healthy Together Willmar, hope to shine a colorful light on that welcoming resolution in the form of a public art project in downtown Willmar. The goal is to create a visual embodiment of the

Willmar Planning Commission approves land sale that could make Block 25 location for new apartment complex

April 22, 2021

Willmar Planning Commission approves land sale that could make Block 25 location for new apartment complex
WILLMAR — The value of four Willmar-owned lots in downtown was debated Wednesday night by members of the Willmar Planning Commission. The question was whether the lots located on Block 25, currently being used as a public parking lot, were more valuable to the city as a parking lot or as the future home of a new apartment building. At the end of the debate, which raised several questions and differences of opinion on the issue, the commission approved the sale to Lumber One Development Company

Downtown Hotel?

April 17, 2021

Downtown Hotel?
WILLMAR—The Willmar Planning and Development Department continues to add to its vision for downtown Willmar as part of the Renaissance Zone economic development program. In addition to bringing in more business and housing and helping property owners rehabilitate their properties, there is also an idea to try and entice a hotel to call downtown home. “We feel it would be a great amenity for the downtown area, especially as we begin developing some of these projects in our pipeline,”

County looks to stimulus bill for broadband infrastructure

April 10, 2021

County looks to stimulus bill for broadband infrastructure
Kandiyohi County is exploring the possibility of using economic relief from the federal government to fund its longstanding and much-needed border-to-border high-speed internet project. “Kandiyohi County has been actively seeking and trying to improve broadband for the citizens of Kandiyohi County,” said Larry Kleindl, county administrator, during a Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners work session concerning broadband internet on Tuesday. The County Board held the work session in

Major Developments/Distribution center, housing projects possible in Willmar

April 10, 2021

Major Developments/Distribution center, housing projects possible in Willmar
WILLMAR—While specifics were slim, Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission executive director, gave some intriguing hints Thursday about possible major economic development projects that could be headed to Willmar. The biggest is a large distribution center project for an undisclosed end user. Back in 2018-2019, a logistics company came close to building a project in Willmar, but it was canceled in early 2019. “This one is bigger and better,”

Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission hires Willmar city planner for business development post

April 9, 2021

Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission hires Willmar city planner for business development post
WILLMAR—The Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission has found its next business development manager and didn’t have to look far to find her. Current Willmar City Planner Sarah Swedburg has accepted the position and plans to start around May 6. She is replacing Connie Schmoll, who is retiring at the end of May. Schmoll has worked for the EDC for just over seven years. Lately she has been focusing on expanding broadband through the county, business development

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission hints at major developments that could be on the way to Willmar

April 9, 2021

Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission hints at major developments that could be on the way to Willmar
WILLMAR—While specifics were slim, Aaron Backman, Kandiyohi County and City of Willmar Economic Development Commission executive director, gave some intriguing hints Thursday about possible major economic development projects that could be headed to Willmar. The biggest is a large distribution center project for an undisclosed end user. Back in 2018-2019, a logistics company came close to building a project in Willmar, but it was canceled in early 2019. “This one is bigger and better,”
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