ST. PETER — The former Whiskey River restaurant is back on the market.
Members of St. Peter’s American Legion decided not to move into the larger building on Highway 99.
“It’s far too big for our use and would be far too expensive for us to run,” said Legion member Shawn Schloesser.
Nicollet County Bank donated the former restaurant and bar to the William R. Whitty American Legion Post 37 late last year.
Legion leaders hired the Region Nine Development Commission to study whether the veterans service organization should move from its home on West Nassau Street. The study concluded the more than 9,000-square-foot former restaurant would be too costly for the Legion to update and operate.
Legion members met Monday night and made a nearly unanimous decision to sell the property and use the proceeds to modernize its existing building and programs.
Schloesser, chairman of the committee formed to lead the Whiskey River decision, and Post Cmdr. Dave Arpin said they will now turn their efforts toward making the post “more welcoming” to all community members.
Legion leadership said the Whiskey River gift was a blessing, but it also created dissonance among post membership over how to move forward.
Schloesser said he was relieved when the feasibility study yielded a firm recommendation that the Legion should not try to reopen the restaurant — at least not by itself.
“Although the former restaurant and bar could lend itself to be an attractive space, the downsides come with potentially debilitating potentials,” the study warned.
The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation based in Owatonna has teamed with the Region Nine Development Commission and the Faribault Diversity Coalition to recruit minority-owned business leaders. Fifteen businesses are being sought out to take part in the 2019 Prosperity Initiative cohort. Eligible businesses include those operated by minorities, women, veterans, persons with disabilities and or low-income in the 20 county region.
NORTH MANKATO — During his presentation on how farmers can and must take better care of ourselves, Dr. Amit Sood said addressing high stress levels begins in the initial moments of our days.
Sood founded the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Resilient Mind program and has authored books on stress management, background which made him a fitting speaker for a local series centered around agricultural resiliency. The Region Nine Development Council organized the Friday event at South Central College in partnership with the college, the state Department of Agriculture and Minnesota State University.
Noting how farmers are navigating stressful financial and technological environments, Sood drew a clear distinction between the matters in and out of their control. An individual farmer can’t do much about economic policies and grain prices, he said, but they can change how these uncontrollable factors impact them.
“Resilience isn’t that we won’t experience adversity,” he said. “It’s that we’ll recover faster.”
Two bills introduced in the Minnesota Legislature aim to increase child care access and space across the state.
To Albert Lea Children’s Center Executive Director Sue Loch, however, the legislation does not
One bill, authored by Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester, and Rep. Jeff Brand, DFL-St. Peter, awards $3 million in grants to Minnesota Initiative Foundations for planning, coordination, training and education to expand child care access. The money is expected to be used to help providers with business improvement planning, quality mentoring and workforce development.
The second bill, authored by Sen. Jerry Relph, R-St. Cloud, and Brand, aims to have more child care spaces through the Child Care Capital Grant Program, which would provide grants to child care providers, local governments and regional economic development organizations in Greater Minnesota to cover up to 50 percent of costs to build, upgrade or expand child care facilities to meet state requirements and increase capacity.
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, in partnership with Region Nine Development Commission and Faribault Diversity Coalition, is recruiting minority-owned business leaders for a new cohort of its Prosperity Initiative.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 29 percent of Minnesota’s population in 2040 will be people
SMIF is seeking 15 businesses to participate in a 2019 Prosperity Initiative cohort. The program provides
Last May U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar sat inside the conference room of the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce office building and listened to community stakeholders share
Chamber President Brad Gruhot said child care used to be a cost issue, but he now told the senator “it’s also an availability” issue.
“Right now, a lot of directors and in-home providers are going to tell you the joy is being taken out of the business,” Kari Condezo also told the senator. Condezo is director of the Southwest Minnesota State University Child Care Center. “A lot of in-home providers are quitting because it’s getting pushed to the regulations.”
Condezo also revealed she sees a decline in availability for child care and the waiting lists are long at all the centers. Condezo’s remarks are supported in a study conducted by the Center of Rural Policy and Development which reported Greater Minnesota lost more than 15,000 child care spots between 2006-2015. The report claims the decline is due to
Meanwhile, child care has also been discussed at local county commission and city council meetings for past couple years.
Minnesota Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, and Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne held a town hall meeting in September and child care providers shared their frustrations.
It was at that meeting that Condezo pleaded with the lawmakers to do more than talk about the child care issues. She asked them to go to work.
“Minnesota is an innovative state. Be innovative,” she said.
Maybe state lawmakers heard her plea because they are finally putting the wheels in motion to address child care issues.
Two bills dealing with
Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, executive director of the Region Nine Development Commission and president of the Greater Minnesota Partnership, hailed the bills as “a promising start to bringing more child care options to Greater Minnesota and helping providers run successful businesses,” she said.
ST. PAUL—A pair of bills that call on the state to make modest investments to help address the critical child care shortage in Greater Minnesota were introduced today at the Minnesota Legislature.
SF 537/HF 422, authored by Sen. Carla Nelson (R-Rochester) and Rep. Jeff Brand (DFL-St. Peter), and SF 538/HF423, authored by Sen. Jerry Relph (R-St. Cloud) and Rep. Brand, both create and fund new grant programs with the shared goal of increasing child care capacity while fostering successful and sustainable child care business operations in Greater Minnesota.
“A big thank you to Sen. Nelson, Sen. Relph and Rep. Brand for taking on this complicated issue,” said Nicole Griensewic Mickelson, executive director of the Region Nine Development Commission and president of the Greater Minnesota Partnership (GMNP), an economic development advocacy organization that has been working with legislators to explore ways to address Greater Minnesota’s child care needs.
“Communities and businesses are reeling from the effects of the child care shortage,” Griensewic Mickelson added. “These bills are a promising start to bringing more child care options to Greater Minnesota and helping providers run successful businesses.”
While the child care shortage is a major concern across the entire state, the impact is particularly acute in rural communities. According to a study by the Center for Rural Policy and Development, Greater Minnesota lost more than 15,000 child care spots between 2006-2015—largely due to a significant decline in in-home providers. Child care centers have helped make up for the loss of in-home providers in the metro area and larger population centers, but small and medium-sized rural communities are still struggling to fill that void.