Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Browns Valley's Creative Flood Relief Fundraiser

Browns Valley has a new incentive program to encourage donations to the town's long-term flood relief program.Thanks to a gift from Beaver's Pond Press, anyone contributing a minimum of $17 to Browns Valley flood recovery will receive a special 2007 commemorative edition of The County Courthouse Caper. This popular work of historical fiction chronicles Browns Valley's frontier days, from the town's founding in the 1860s to the Traverse County Seat War of 1887. The 240-age book currently has a rating of 4.5 stars (out of 5) on Amazon.com. To receive your copy of this limited collector's edition, mail your donaiton of $17 or more to: BV Flood Relief, P.O. Box 307, Browns Valley, MN 56219. Please include $3 for shipping/handling. For further details, see www.cccaper.com

Monday, July 30, 2007

MnSCU Releases 2007 West Central Region MnCareers Supplement

What are the high-demand jobs in west central Minnesota? iSeek Solutions out of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU), has published its 2007 West Central Region MnCareers Supplement that looks at the in-demand, high pay occupations in the region. iSeek Solutions compiled the supplement using data provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Click here for west central Minn. career information.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Dept. of Commerce seeks economic development representative

The U.S. Department of Commerce is now hiring for the position of economic development representative for a six-state area, which includes Minnesota. The position is based out of the Twin Cities. If you or someone you know in the west central Minnesota area is interested in the position, visit https://jobs1.quickhire.com/scripts/doc.exe/preview and enter EDA-2007-0039 in the “Vacancy Announcement” field. The announcement will close on August 14.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Senators Coleman, Klobuchar Secure Critical Funding for Minnesota Agriculture Projects

from press release

July 20th, 2007 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Norm Coleman (R-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) announced today that they were successful in securing federal funds for several agriculture and rural development initiatives in the Senate Agriculture and Rural Development Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2008. The full committee approved the bill today and will send it to the Senate floor for consideration by the full Senate.

Read full release.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Frazee EDA discusses demolition, grant funds

excerpted from Frazee-Vergas Forum, July 19, 2007

The Frazee Economic Development Authority (EDA) discussed demolition and distribution of grant monies during its monthly meeting, Monday, July 16.

The EDA received two written proposals for demolition of the Swift Plant., which the city is scheduled to purchase from Becker County, July 24.

The EDA also discussed the $718,750 Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) grant received from Minnesota DEED to rehabilitate 15 owner-occupied single family homes, three rental untis and seven commercial buildings.

Read entire article.

Monday, July 16, 2007

RMCEP recipient of MN Sector Partnership

excerpted from the Morris Sun Tribune, 7-11-07

Rural Minnesota CEP (RMCEP) has been awarded $50,000 throught the Governor's Workforce Development Council to convene and develop the Lakes Area Manufacturing Partnership. The purpose of this partnership is to proactively identify and address regional workforce development needs in the manufacturing industry in Economic Development Region 4. The focus of this regional approach is to develop strategies to meet the common needs of the manufacturing industry for high skilled workers.

Should Minnesota invest in our small towns or return rural Minnesota to the buffalo?

excerpted from op/ed piece in the Hoffman Tribune by Matt Entenza and Lee Enerstrom, Minnesota 2020

In many parts of Minnesota our small towns are withering and the state of Minnesota is doing little or nothing to reverse that trend. Current rural economic development policy is focused on the wrong priority: moving jobs from deep rural counties to exurban Twin Cities areas. Minnesota faces a stark, fundamental policy choice: investment or abandonment.

Read the Minnesota 2020 think tank's study on this issue.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Rural development would get boost in next Farm Bill

from Morris Sun Times

After the July 4th break for Congress, work on the next five-year federal farm bill accelerates in high gear to beat a Sept. 30 deadline.

That’s when the current farm bill, crafted in 2002, expires.

Once considered the federal government’s safety net for farmers, providing subsidies when prices fall for commodities from rice to corn, today’s farm bill means much more.

Along with commodity supports, the farm bill’s 10 titles include nutrition programs such as food stamps, conservation programs, forestry, energy research, trade and rural development.

Read entire article.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

HEDA busy with establishing new housing and new businesses

excerpted from the Hoffman Tribune, June 28, 2007

At their regular meeting on Monday, June 18, HEDA members took another step forward in planning for the 8th Street South project by approving and signing the final plat. The project, similar to the creation of 7th Street South, is expected to help Hoffman grow as a bedroom community with nine new residential lots for sale. HEDA has established a similar $50 per front footage cost for each lot. This initial fee would be 100% refunded if the buyer builds within a 12 month time frame.

In a discussion after the regular meeting, Johnson explained that housing is Hoffman's largest potential asset because of the city's location. Many people live in Hoffman, yet they commute to work with a large portion of those commuters traveling to Alexandria. By establishing affordable housing in Hoffman, HEDA is trying to attract families wanting to live in smaller communities.

Several other projects spearheaded by HEDA are springing into action with the recent construction weather. Runestone Telephone Association's new facility, on land purchased through a tax increment financing district set up by HEDA, is growing daily. HEDA uses TIFF financing to encourage existing businesses, as well as new businesses, to locate in Hoffman. Although expenses for setting up a TIFF district do cost HEDA initial administration fees, Johnson explained that "TIFF financing is a useful economic development tool that pays off in the long run."

Another local business has started construction of a new facility. Hoberg's Welding and Manufacturing has outgrown their building on Main Street. They acquired the lot north of Bullfrogs from HEDA to construct a building and storage area large enough to house new projects.

Beyond that, HEDA is talking with building owners along Main Street in hopes of acquiring some of the dilapidated structures. Once Hoffman's EDA is in control of the buildings, they have discussed the possibility of demolishing the potentially dangerous structures. Not only would this be a step toward beautifying the town, but the vacant lots may become more desirable to future business owners looking to build from scratch.

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