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WILLMAR — Rice Memorial Hospital stayed in the black last year for the second year in a row, earning a net margin of $1.7 million on $108.2 million in total revenue. Despite ever-tightening reimbursement, the municipal hospital also managed to improve its net position by $2 million last year, ending the year with $36 million in net assets and capital. The annual audit report for 2016 was reviewed Thursday by the finance committee of the hospital board of directors. It is being forwarded to the full board with a recommendation for approval.
WILLMAR — Woodland Centers is in the process of moving into a new and larger location in Montevideo that will allow the community mental health center to better serve the public. With more space, there will be more room for staff and programs and more opportunities for people to receive care closer to home, said Dr. Ashley Kjos, executive director of Woodland Centers. "We've just been growing and expanding there," she said.
APPLETON—Seventh District Congressman Collin Peterson is scheduled to be the guest on the live broadcast "Your Legislators" at 8 p.m. today on Pioneer Public Television. The program also can be viewed via Facebook Live on the Pioneer Public TV Facebook page. Viewers will be able to call 1-800-726-3178, email questions to email@example.com or tweet @YourLegislators during the hour-long program.
WILLMAR — As Willmar Municipal Utilities prepares to pull the plug on its century-old district heating program, Kandiyohi County is moving ahead with conversion plans for heating the county courthouse and the Willmar Public Library. It will likely be another two years before the city quits supplying steam heat to the downtown district for good. But it's in the county's best interests to act now, said Andy Thorson, facilities maintenance manager for the Kandiyohi County buildings in downtown Willmar.
WILLMAR — When Dr. Michael Hodapp leaves his office at ACMC for the last time this week, a long era will come to a close. His retirement today marks the end of nearly 100 continuous years that members of the Hodapp family have practiced medicine in Willmar. "I'm the last soldier standing, I guess," said Hodapp, a pediatrician. "It'll be hard but the clinic is still here. It'll keep on going." To longtime Willmar residents, the name "Hodapp" is practically synonymous with medicine.
WILLMAR — One more step was completed Tuesday as Kandiyohi County prepares to sell $5 million in tax abatement bonds to help fund the development of rural broadband. The County Board of Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday for property tax abatements totaling $5 million over 20 years. The move will have no impact on actual property taxes paid but is a requirement for the county to use tax abatement bonds as a financing mechanism. Shelly Eldridge, senior municipal adviser with Ehlers, said it's "the backup that supports the general obligation."
LITCHFIELD—The Minnesota Department of Transportation will host a construction open house from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday at the Meeker County Courthouse, community room A, to discuss the upcoming Minnesota Highway 22 project. The project involves the resurfacing of Highway 22 from the junction of Minnesota Highway 7 and Highway 22 to Pleasure Drive in Litchfield. In addition to the resurfacing of the road, two culverts will be replaced and turning lanes will be constructed. Knife River is the contractor.
WILLMAR — Central Community Transit will expand three routes this year — two in Litchfield and one in Kandiyohi County — to better meet the needs of its riders. The move is made possible by a $298,000 grant awarded last week by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Central Community Transit is among 23 transit providers to receive funds under a push by MnDOT to increase transit services across rural Minnesota. The transit system provides services in Kandiyohi, Meeker and Renville counties.
WILLMAR — Customer sign-ups are underway as Consolidated Telecommunications Co. begins laying the groundwork to bring high-speed internet to rural north central Kandiyohi County. The last in a series of meet-and-greet sessions on the project will be held at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Dethlefs Center in Spicer. Representatives of the company will be on hand to provide information and answer questions. There also will be a chance to sign up for the service.
WILLMAR — Kandiyohi County will seek state grant money for a potential expansion of Games Lake County Park. Application to the outdoor recreation grant program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources was approved Wednesday at a special meeting of the County Board of Commissioners. The landowner to the west of the Games Lake park has expressed interest in selling the property to Kandiyohi County, said Larry Kleindl, county administrator.