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2019: a year of notable developments

This past year there were many notable projects in the city that support the building of our community.

The city’s wastewater treatment plant infrastructure and equipment upgrade project and the Marshall Municipal Utilities water softening project, $14 and $11.5 million respectively, will be paid for with grants, reserve funds and water use fees. The projects which have begun construction, will help reduce the 13,000 lbs. of salt going into the Redwood River daily and will aid in the compliance with MN Pollution Control Agency water discharge permit requirements for chloride in 2024.

Following up on the construction of Highway 23 J-turns at Saratoga and Lyon Street, the Minnesota Department of Transportation this past year completed another J-turn at the intersection Highway 23 and County Road 7. The $2.1 million project resulted from a 2016 Highway 23 corridor safety study. Studies show a 70 percent reduction in fatalities and a 42 percent reduction in injury crashes where J-turns and J-turns are often less expensive than constructing an intersection with a stop light and are a fraction the cost of building an interchange.

Various grand openings, ribbon cuttings and open house events happened this year. Suite Liv’n purchased Birch Apartments near Southwest Minnesota State University and renovated the apartments to upgrade the aging facilities. The 36-unit Nexus Apartments located on London Road was completed in early Fall. The same development has plans for two additional apartment complexes that will begin construction soon.

Ashley Home Store, Hobby Lobby were opened to the eager public glad to see the former K-Mart renovated and meeting its full potential. Marshall Avera Regional Hospital proudly presented a 10,540 square foot renovation to their Emergency Room and Entrance providing for better security and overall better facilities for emergency care.

Southwest Tour and Travel, after a devastating late 2018 fire, rebuilt bigger and better in 2019. Thanks to the Minnesota Timberwolves and US Bank, an outdoor basketball court was granted as a result of community support and formal voting, beating out other regional centers. The court, dedicated to the memory of Carter Boerboom, will forever be named “Carter’s Court”.

Several business expansions occurred this past year. Harrison Truck Center broke ground on a $3.5 million expansion that will enhance its truck parts and service center. Action Manufacturing will add on to its current Action Trackchair manufacturing plant to allow for more office and storage space as well as promoting growth of the business. Marshall Machine Shop is adding 7,500 square feet to its existing metal fabrication shop.

Stores were added downtown: Rustic Hideaway, Balanced Boutique and Maxwell Kitchen Equipment to name a few.

A new $3.6 million United Community Action Partnership Head Start building is under construction with funding coming from several sources, including grants from the federal Department of Health and Human Services Office of Head Start, the Minnesota Department of Education, the Otto Bremer Trust and Mardag Foundation.

State of Minnesota bonding in the amount of $3.1 million was granted to the city of Marshall’s Minnesota Emergency Response and Industrial Training (MERIT) Center for the training track expansion. Now complete, will be able to host a wider variety of driving training for law enforcement, fire department, and commercial driver’s license trainings.

Although construction is not slated to begin until 2020, the City Hall renovation and construction project was approved by City Council in recent weeks. City Hall, seen as the “front door” to our city, will result in several improvements: better security, improved accessibility, office locations more conveniently located that serve the public most, smaller office space for staff contrasted with larger space for public interaction and windows devoted for meeting space to allow natural light to come through the building.

The project long discussed, has meant a higher cost, due largely to the increased cost of construction over time. Yet, a fully explored and vetted project that includes support from the public and key downtown leaders delivers lasting value.

Finally, not inclusive of all the previous projects mentioned, in 2019, the city’s building permit valuation is over $25 million in comparison to just over $17 million in 2018. The total number of building permits to date is over 500 permits, an increase of 200 more building permits from the previous year.

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