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Sep 16 16

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).

by Melissa

2016 marks the year that all Regional Development Commissions in Minnesota will be updating their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).A regional survey was sent out to contacts from all over our 5 county region to identify economic development strengths, weaknesses, ideas, needs and resources for the region serving the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine.


Quick stats:
Responses 48 – responses received from individuals representing all 5 counties.


Nearly every cornerstone had a “below average” rating!

Themes included:

  • Broadband
  • Workforce
  • Childcare
  • Housing

All identified as significant needs and challenges in the region.
Natural resources and outdoor recreation rated the highest and were listed as strengths or opportunities for the region.

The survey results will be used in a brainstorming workshop to draft new goals and strategies for the regions updated CEDS. The UMVRDC will work to refine the goals and strategies and will make them available for public review and comment at the end of October 2016.

Sep 13 16

Transportation Alternative Program – Funding Available!

by Melissa

The Southwest Area Transportation Partnership will be soliciting for Transportation Alternative projects for the year 2021. In the UMVRDC region, projects in Chippewa, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle Counties are eligible for funding from the SW ATP. For projects in Big Stone and Swift Counties the application deadlines will be forthcoming.

Eligible applicants include a State Aid cities (cities over 5,000 in population – Montevideo in our region), any county, state agencies, and Upper Sioux Community. If you are not a state aid entity, you must have an eligible applicant sponsor your application.

Projects must have a 20% local match.

Eligible Projects:

Transportation Alternatives as defined in section 101 [former 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(29)]:

  1.  Construction, planning, and design of on-road and off-road trail facilities for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other nonmotorized forms of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle infrastructure, pedestrian and bicycle signals, traffic calming techniques, lighting and other safety-related infrastructure, and transportation projects to achieve compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.).
    • Construction, planning, and design of infrastructure-related projects and systems that will provide safe routes for non-drivers, including children, older adults, and individuals with disabilities to access daily needs.
    • Conversion and use of abandoned railroad corridors for trails for pedestrians, bicyclists, or other nonmotorized transportation users.
    • Construction of turnouts, overlooks, and viewing areas.
    • Community improvement activities, which include but are not limited to:
      1. inventory, control, or removal of outdoor advertising;
      2. historic preservation and rehabilitation of historic transportation facilities;
  • vegetation management practices in transportation rights-of-way to improve roadway safety, prevent against invasive species, and provide erosion control; and archaeological activities relating to impacts from implementation of a transportation project eligible under title 23.
  • Any environmental mitigation activity, including pollution prevention and pollution abatement activities and mitigation to:
    1. address stormwater management, control, and water pollution prevention or abatement related to highway construction or due to highway runoff, including activities described in sections 23 U.S.C. 133(b)(3) [as amended under the FAST Act], 328(a), and 329 of title 23; or
    2. reduce vehicle-caused wildlife mortality or to restore and maintain connectivity among terrestrial or aquatic habitats (Former 23 U.S.C. 213(b)(2)-(4)).
  1. Therecreational trails program under 23 U.S.C. 206 of title 23.
  2. Thesafe routes to school program eligible projects and activities listed at section 1404(f) of the SAFETEA-LU:
    • Infrastructure-related projects.
    • Noninfrastructure-related activities.
    • SRTS coordinator. SAFETEA-LU section 1404(f)(2)(A) lists “managers of safe routes to school programs” as eligible under the noninfrastructure projects.
  3. Planning, designing, or constructing boulevards and other roadways largely in the right-of-way of former Interstate System routes or other divided highways.

o   See Boulevards from Divided Highways for examples.To apply there is a two-step process:

  1. Letter of Intent: to apply there is a short pre-application that will be due October 31, 2016 . After submitting this an onsite review of your project will be coordinated by our office. This process is intended to ensure eligibility and to determine project readiness for a full application.
  2. Final and complete applications will be due January 13, 2017.

Application materials will be available by September 30. If you are thinking about a potential project, please contact our office for more information!

Contact  or at 320-289-1981 x 101

Aug 29 16

Greensteps Cities: A Tool for Economic Development

by Melissa

Join Sarina Otaibi, the Minnesota Main Street Coordinator at the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, for a presentation on the GreenStep Cities (GSC) voluntary program, and its to help you with your tools for economic development work. After the presentation, we will learn from each other about opportunities to further sustainability work and incorporate GSC practices or promotion into your own work with communities and businesses.  To register for this event, visit  Minnesota GreenStep Cities is a voluntary challenge, assistance and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals. This free continuous improvement program, managed by a public-private partnership, is based upon 29 best practices. Each best practice can be implemented by completing one or more actions at a 1, 2 or 3-star level, from a list of four to eight actions. These actions are tailored to all Minnesota cities, focus on cost savings and energy use reduction, and encourage civic innovation. Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission is a promotional partner for this event. If you need assistance registering, please contact Denise Sykora by emailing or call our office at 651-293-9047. If you have questions or concerns about this event, please contact Sarina Otaibi by emailing or call 320-262-9514.

Link to the Facebook event for this session:

Link to the event and registration page on PAM website:

GreenStep Cities Info Session_Appleton

Aug 29 16

September Board Meeting

by Jackie S

The UMVRDC will hold its monthly board meeting on Tuesday, September 27th beginning at 6:30pm at the Appleton Civic Center. This meeting is open to the public.  Click here for a copy of the packet.


Aug 29 16

Open Position: Transportation/Community Development Planner

by Dawn Hegland

The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for an entry level community development planner to develop and manage projects with cities, counties and other organizations in the five-county UMVRDC region of Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties. This position works on broad and diverse projects that have a regional scope and includes projects requiring a high level of detail.

 The Position

Work areas include initiating, developing and managing projects for local governments in the following areas:

  • Community strategic planning
  • Capital improvement planning
  • Environmental reviews
  • Comprehensive planning and plan updates
  • Zoning ordinance development
  • Telecommunication/broadband planning
  • MN DEED Small Cities Development Program grant writing and administration
  • Hazard mitigation planning
  • Renewable energy project development and grant writing
  • GIS and mapping support
  • Park and recreation planning

Primary responsibilities (50-75%) will be regional transportation planning and will include the following areas:

  • Assist MnDOT with statewide transportation projects and plans.
  • Participate in the development of the Area Transportation Improvement Program for MnDOT Districts 4 & 8.
  • Complete transportation planning projects or studies for the region that promote a seamless transportation network.
  • Review and process functional classification change requests in coordination with the local road authority and the MnDOT District State Aid Engineer.
  • Communicate with MnDOT; RDC staff, boards and committees; local officials and staff; and the general public on a board range of transportation related issues.
  • Meet and coordinate with MnDOT and peer transportation planners to enhance planning and provide regional input for state projects and projects considered for federal funding.
  • Provide professional assistance to local units of government on local and regional transportation issues.
  • Work with communities and schools developing and implementing Safe Routes to School Plans.
  • Promote and develop active transportation strategies for cities, counties, and schools.

Background & Experience

Related 4-year degree in community development, transportation planning, geography, urban studies/design, public administration, environmental studies, economics or a related field or at least six years’ experience in the previous fields or a combination of both required.

Night meetings and overnight travel is necessary.

Must have valid driver’s license.

All finalists considered will be subject to a criminal background check.

Salary & Benefits

Starting salary $41,600.

Benefits include full single health insurance high deductible plan ($3,200 single/$6,400 family maximum), 50% family coverage, full single dental, agency contributions to HSA account ($1,600 in 2016), life, flexible benefits plan, deferred compensation plan, PERA.


The position is available starting immediately.

This position will remain open until filled.

To Apply

 Please review the Community Development Planner Position Profile for an overview of the position and instructions on how to apply.

Send application, copies of college transcripts, and cover letter highlighting three things you can bring to the UMVRDC Community Development Team to:

Executive Director

323 West Schlieman Avenue

Appleton, MN 56208

320-289-1981 x101