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Kandiyohi County Board in west central Minnesota praise launch of Vision 2040

WILLMAR — Involvement in a community planning process called Vision 2040 is a necessary step to plan for the future of the county, according to Kandiyohi County Commissioners, who are giving financial and vocal support to the project.

“It shows good stewardship,” said Commissioner Jim Butterfield. “It’s good vision for the county to engage in this.”

The county is investing $5,000 in the Vision 2040 project, and the city of Willmar has committed $5,000. Along with funds from other private and public partners, the project is estimated to cost a total of about $25,000.

In an update Tuesday to the commissioners, County Administrator Larry Kleindl said the steering committee reviewed two proposals for facilitators, including the Colorado firm that led the community through Vision 2020 that was conducted in the late 1990s.

Vision 2040 is an update to help carry the community another 20 years into the future. Part of that process will include engaging new area residents, including recent immigrants.

Kleindl said the cooperative nature of the project shows how the county and city and other entities “can work together and look for new leaders.”

The Vision 2040 steering committee has recommended hiring Rebecca Ryan, with Next Generation Consulting of Madison, Wis.

Kleindl, who is a member of the committee, said they were impressed with Ryan’s creativity, her “team approach” for research and the company’s use of new technology to engage the entire community.

He said the exercise could help determine what kind of “handprint” today’s leaders will make on the future of the community and how new leaders can be identified and brought into the process.

Butterfield said the investment is “not just for today, but for years to come.”

Kleindl said the county was “very supportive” of the Vision 2020 study and said support of the 2040 project shows they “believe in Kandiyohi County.”

He said Kandiyohi County is already doing “a lot of great things here that other communities are just thinking about” and that with involvement from a variety of individuals and private and public entities in the Vision 2040 process, more ideas will be formulated to make the county a “great place to live.”

The project has a preliminary timeline of being initiated in April and ending in September.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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