October 21 news

WORTHINGTON - A long-delayed project designed to bring Missouri River water to southwestern Minnesota is at a crossroads. The Lewis & Clark water project has been stopped by cutbacks in federal funding. This week the 20 local entities in three states that comprise the project’s board will vote on whether to fund the completion themselves with hopes of eventually getting reimbursed by the feds.

The 20 cities and rural water districts are in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Iowa. After more than a decade, the project is delivering water to 11 of the 20. But Worthington and Luverne and three counties - Lincoln, Pipestone, and Rock - are not among them.
Luverne’s city administrator said their city wants to keep the project moving, but the Rock County Rural Water District decided to draw a line against any additional spending.

Worthington Public Utilities Manager Scott Hain said he would vote yes. If the construction budget passes, Worthington may have to pay up to $1 million but Hain said there are adequate reserves for funding.

Hull, Iowa, has a particular frustration about the project dragging on for more than a decade. A cheese plant in that city is poised for a major expansion but can’t unless the water supply is increased. Their pan is to vote no and fund hookups to another source.
The largest member, Sioux Falls, says it will vote no. Sioux Falls city engineer Chad Huwe says the reason is simple: They have fulfilled their financial commitment to Lewis and Clark. Sioux Falls receives roughly 10 million gallons of water a day from the system.

The Lewis & Clark board is scheduled to vote at a Thursday meeting.

WORTHINGTON — Small-business owners across southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa are invited to attend a free meeting from 8 to 10 a.m. Wednesday on the Worthington campus of Minnesota West Community and Technical College. Sponsored by the Social Media Breakfast Rural Connection Club — through funds received through the Blandin Foundation — Jeffrey Ferrazzo of Constant Contact will be presenting a free, two-hour program for anyone interested on the topic of Small Business Saturday.

Celebrated annually on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a national campaign founded four years ago by American Express as a way to promote shopping locally for the holiday season. It acts as a counterpoint to both Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and encourages customers to shop at local small businesses as opposed to big box retail and e-commerce stores.

Pre-registration for Wednesday’s event is required. Contact Julie Foote at jfoote@mvtvwireless.com or Lori Henning at lori@2smartwomen.com.

WORTHINGTON — The Southwest Crisis Center is hosting a self-care group, “Healing the Soul: Getting Past the Past” at Tranquility Women’s massage, 920 Third Ave. This group is open to all survivors of domestic and sexual violence, whether experienced as an adult or a child. The group aims to bring awareness back to their bodies and the self-care that is often overlooked in healing from trauma.

This group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. with the following topics: Nov. 4, guided meditation; Nov. 18, yoga; Nov. 25, art therapy; Dec. 2, self-massage.

Childcare and transportation is provided for those in need. For more information contact Kari or Jenny, 376-4311 or email hope@mnswcc.org.

WINDOM - Xcel Energy has approval from Minnesota regulators to build four wind farms in the midwest, including one in southwest Minnesota. Xcel says the projects will boost its wind power capacity in the region by 42 percent. Approval from the public utilities commission last week clears the way for Minneapolis-based Xcel and two energy development companies to work on securing federal tax credits.

The Odell Wind Farm near Windom will be developed by Geronimo Energy of Edina. The power will be sold to Xcel under a long term contract.

TERRIL, Iowa—A local start-up company has been awarded state assistance. The Iowa Economic Development Authority Friday awarded $75,000 to Mock Medical, LLC of Terril. The funding is through the authority’s Demonstration Fund and will be used for marketing and product development. Mock Medical produces educational grade surgical instruments for training surgical students. The company was formed earlier this year in Terril.

ABERDEEN, S.D. - Attorneys are asking that a minimum bid of $12.75 million be set for an idled South Dakota beef packing plant at an auction scheduled for Dec. 5.

The Aberdeen American News reports attorneys for Northern Beef Packers filed a motion in federal bankruptcy court to establish bidding procedures for the plant.
The motion says it is impossible to estimate the value of the plant's operating assets with certainty, but the proposed minimum price was determined to be an appropriate level to promote broad participation in a competitive auction.

Northern Beef had spent about $115 million on the plant and equipment. The plant opened on a limited basis in 2012, but its owners filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this year and laid off most of its employees.

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Hopefully, they can get the

Hopefully, they can get the budget that they need to complete the project. It will surely a beneficial project to the community. - Adam LaFavre

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