Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pope-Stevens jail talks called off

excerpted from Pope County Tribune, 10-22-07

The Stevens County Commission voted 3-2 to discontinue further discussions and study with Pope County about a joint regional justice center, which would have included a shared jail, courthouse and dispatch. Pope County commissioners and sheriff expressed disappointment in the decision. Pope County's current law enforcement center has security issues with the courts and transporting and booking inmates. There is no holding facility. Pope County will begin to explore other avenues to solve their problems.

Barnesville EDA has a lot to give--literally

The Barnesville EDA is giving away a residential lot in the city's newest addition. The requirements include building on or before June 15, 2008 and making on-time special assessment payments. As an added bonus, the person receives a $1,000 cash bonus if the construction begins before Dec. 31, 2007. PLUS, the City of Barnesville is offering a free utility incentive worth $1,400 for new homes built within city limits. For more information, call or email Karen Lauer at 800-354-7540,

Monday, October 15, 2007

FIRST grant applications now available online

The application for a new regional planning grant is now available through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The Framework for Integrated Regional Strategies (FIRST) grants are intended to help create new regional collaborations in the areas of workforce development, economic development and education. The goal is to develop integrated strategies that strengthen regional economies.
If your organization is interested in bringing leaders together to address your region's economic competitiveness and talent development needs.

You'll find all the information you need online at

Friday, October 12, 2007

10 percent ethanol blends reaches 10th anniversary

excerpted from the West Douglas County Record, 10-11-07

Ten years ago this week, landmark legislation requiring a 10 percent blend of ethanol in virtually every gallon of gasoline sold in Minnesota went into effect. The miles stone was reached amongst virtually no fanfare, something renewable fuels advocates say underscores the incredible success of Minensota's ground breaking ethanol implementation.

Originally, ethanol was sold only in the winter months in the Twin Cities as a way to decrease carbon dioxide levels in accordance with the EPA air quality standards. The program was so successful it was extended to year-round in the Twin Cities, and eventually to a statewide requirement.

Dilworth's growth sector

excerpted from the Fargo Forum, 10-11-07 and 10/12/07

A new Wal-Mart Supercenter is taking shape on a 26-acre Dilworth site just north of the current Wal-Mart store. The nearly 221,000-square-foot store, employing between 350 and 400 workers, is expected to open next spring. Ken Parke, Dilworth city administrator anticipates double to triple the property taxes that they will pay on this new supercenter.

Read more.


The commercial section of Highway 10 in west Dilworth is about to get a little more crowded with a Fastenal store getting set to anchor a new 13,000-square-foot facility.

Fastenal, a distributor of industrial and construction supplies, will occupy 7,000 square feet of the building, which will be located near OfficeMax and Weivoda Carpet.

The remaining 6,000 square feet will be leased to as many as four retail or professional office tenants, said Dennis Parr, president of Bismarck-based Global Properties.

Read more.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Governor Pawlenty announces SEED: Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development

Saying that small business is the backbone of Minnesota’s economy, Governor Tim Pawlenty today proposed a comprehensive new program to stimulate rural economic development. The initiative - Strategic Entrepreneurial Economic Development (SEED) – is designed to help strengthen communities and expand the small business base throughout Minnesota.

“Investing in small business will bring lasting value and economic growth to our entire state and especially rural communities that need it most,” Governor Pawlenty said. “Companies with fewer than 100 employees account for 97 percent of the state’s businesses and generate most new jobs. SEED will help new business, existing companies, and rural communities by providing a wide variety of economic development tools that can be matched to each situation.”

Read more about SEED.

Fergus Falls businesses awarded value-added grants

Ag Enterprises, LLC, and Buffalo Meat Inc., both of Fergus Falls, have been awarded USDA Rural Development Value-Added Producer grants.

Otter Tail Ag Enterprises is currently constructing an ethanol plant, and will receive a $300,000 grant to expand the market for ethanol and distillers grains by producing and marketing 55 million gallons of ethanol and 175,000 tons of distiller’s grains per year.Buffalo Meat Inc. is the wholesale marketing company of Buffalo Pass Ranch, and also will receive a $300,000 grant to help offset the costs of expanding into direct sales of Minnesota buffalo meat. They will be expanding markets for bison products such as burger, sausage, steaks, roasts and jerky.Value-added producer grants may be used for planning activities and for working capital for marketing value-added agricultural products and for farm-based renewable energy. Eligible applicants are independent producers, farmer and rancher cooperatives, agricultural producer groups, and majority-controlled producer-based business ventures.

Minnesota State Legislature - What's New

Alexandria Echo Press

Breckenridge/Wahpeton Daily News

Detroit Lakes Tribune

Fergus Falls Daily Journal stories

IN-FORUM: Fargo-Moorhead

Morris Sun Tribune : Morris

Perham Enterprise Bulletin : Perham

Pope County Tribune

News & Features from Minnesota Public Radio

Minnesota Legislature from Minnesota Public Radio