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Letter: City of Willmar made the right move

On behalf of Move Willmar Forward, we would like to extend our thank you to the mayor, City Council, administration and city staff for their part in approving the tax abatement for the Torgerson Properties, Inc., Willmar legacy project. In addition, we would also like to thank Tom Torgerson and the TPI organization for reinvesting in their community.

While the process to get to an affirmative vote and the mayor’s signature was not without contentious moments and a lot of discussion, compromise was reached and it will allow $10-$12 million dollars to be reinvested into our community. We truly do hope that the community does see this as an investment and not as an expense, as it will provide a return on investment long after the tax abatement goes away.

As the mayor and council move forward to find a process to use in the future for the next opportunity that comes along, we hope they create some established principles to help guide them through the process. Each project is and will be unique and it will be difficult to have a one-size-fits-all policy. We certainly want to encourage having a good process in place on why we say yes and why we would say no.

As the community knows, Moving Willmar Forward includes several people, including business leaders, community advocates and citizens interested in building Willmar to be a better place to live and work through a level of mutual respect, cooperation, trust and civility. We have come forward publicly in the past to offer constructive criticism on how business was being conducted within and outside city government. We also think it’s important to come forward and offer our thank you and acknowledgement of success in the spirit of raising our city to the next level as an even stronger regional center in West Central Minnesota. Thank you.

Wayne Nelson