Short Takes

Manufacturing optimism rises


The Enterprise Minnesota’s annual State of Manufacturing Survey revealed a lot of optimism among Minnesota Manufacturing executives. The results of the 2017 State of Manufacturing survey were presented Monday at Southwest Minnesota State University. Enterprise Minnesota CEO Bob Kill went over some of the survey’s key findings and a panel of southwest Minnesota business people and educators added to the discussion. The overall opinion — manufacturers across Minnesota are feeling good about their business prospects. In March, 94 percent of survey participants said they were feeling confident in their companies’ financial futures. For the very first time, 57 percent — said they were “very confident “ about the future. The survey also revealed some challenges facing Greater Minnesota. One is the lack of qualified workers.

Hotel/convention proposal rejected


The city of Marshall on Wednesday announced that the proposal to build a hotel and conference center near the Red Baron and Expo won’t move forward. A news release said the city was unable to approve the proposal after “in-depth discussions” with Gatehouse Capital on the financing structure of the project. The city has spent months discussing the proposal. And Gatehouse spent $20,000 on a market study. The city received the findings of that study in December. Gatehouse then proposed a public/private partnership to build a 16,000 square-foot convention center and a 100-room Marriott hotel. While a convention center would have been a positive economic addition to the community, there were some concerns. Some operators of current hotels in Marshall expressed concern whether or not the region would be able to support another hotel. Many residents also feared the tax implications.

SMSU could be big Legislature loser


The Minnesota Legislature is still maneuvering a special session for a rough landing. Lawmakers planned to regroup Thursday to make another run at passing the major parts of a massive $46 billion budget after making scant headway the day before and missing a self-imposed deadline for finishing their work and going home for the year. “We are still trying to work out the details of the global agreement that went south,” GOP Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said. One of the major fallouts from this Legislative session will affect Southwest Minnesota State University. Both the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota State system received far less than they had sought from the Legislature. The University of Minnesota told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that it will look to tuition hikes and program cuts to balance its budget now that lawmakers rebuffed its request for nearly $100 million in extra funding.