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Mar 19 14

NOW HIRING: Community Development Planner

by Dawn Hegland

RDC logo - square, with taglineThe Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for a 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.

We have an opening for a Community Development Planner:

  • Applications are reviewed every two weeks until position is filled.
  • Applications that do not include all requested information will be considered incomplete and will not be considered.
  • The application is available below. It is a Word document. Resume’s are not accepted in place of completed application.


About the Position

  • Starting salary depending on experience and qualifications.
  • Benefits include full single health insurance high deductible plan ($3,000 single/$6,000 family maximum),  50% family coverage, full single dental, agency funded health savings account ($1,500 in 2014), life, flexible benefits plan, vacation leave, sick leave, school leave, flexible work scheduling, deferred compensation plan, Roth 457, Public Employee Retirement Association (PERA).



The position is available starting immediately.

This position will remain open until filled.

Job offers are not final until receiving the UMVRDC Board of Commissioners’ approval and upon successful completion of a background and credit check.


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 ext. 1


Application Attachment Checklist  (this checklist is included in the application)

___Cover letter highlighting three things you can contribute to the UMVRDC community development team.

___ List ALL work history:

        • Include internships.
        • Explain any gaps in employment.
        • Detailed explanation of work responsibilities and accomplishments.

___ Provided detailed summary of computer experience

___ Provided detailed summary of Community Development Planner expertise

___Attach All School Transcripts

___Signed Certification and Authorization Statement

___ Form DD-214 or FL-802 if claiming veterans preference

___Other Attachments: To assist us in evaluating your application, please feel free to attach any additional information necessary to describe your full qualifications.

___Additional Work History: If you need more space for work history, please use this form.


Apr 18 14

Protected: Meander Proof #1

by Kristi Fernholz

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Apr 9 14


by Jackie S

NEA Request for Proposals on Rural Design

Rural communities facing design challenges— such as Main Street revitalization, how to manage and direct growth, design community-supportive transportation systems, preserve natural and historic landscapes and buildings, protect working agricultural lands, and provide adequate and affordable housing—and are interested in hosting a workshop to address those challenges are invited to submit a proposal to receive funding and technical assistance. Requests for proposals to host the 2014-2015 Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design workshops are now being accepted by NEA at the CIRD website. For the Request for Proposals and Application, please click here.

The deadline for applications is May 6, 2014.

Apr 3 14

Council Seeks Requests for the Outdoor Heritage Fund

by Jackie S

The Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (LSOHC) issued its FY2016 Call for Funding Request from the Outdoor Heritage Fund on April 1, 2014.  Requests are due to the LSOHC Thursday, June 12, 2014.  The Council anticipates approximately $100 million (amount available to be revised after the November forecast) will be available.  The Council recommends for programs that, under the MN Constitution directly, “restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.”  The funds for approved programs signed into law during the 2015 legislative session will be available beginning July 1, 2015.

The Council seeks requests for habitat work consistent with its statewide priorities and five geographic section’s vision and priorities as outlined in the Call for Funding Request.  The priorities and visions will be used to guide the Council’s review of requests and recommendations.  This is a competitive recommendation process, open to all who wish to apply.

This call begins the seventh recommendation cycle by the Council.   To-date a total of over $540 million in on-the-ground habitat programs has been recommended.  The latest set of recommendations for $109 million is currently before the legislature.

The Council, composed of eight citizens and four legislators, makes recommendations to the Legislature for use of the Outdoor Heritage Fund (OHF).  The OHF was established as result of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy amendment, passed by Minnesota voters in November of 2008.   This amendment established a dedicated sales tax increase of 3/8th of one-percent.  One-third of the dollars raised are deposited in the Outdoor Heritage Fund for expenditure to guard or improve habitat in Minnesota.

For more information on the Call for Request for Funding, please visit


Apr 2 14

Highlights from NADO’s 2014 Washington Policy Conference

by Melissa


Over 300 regional development practitioners, policy makers, and other stakeholders participated in the 2014 Washington Policy Conference: NADO on the Hill from March   23 – 26.  Over the course of the four-day event, attendees learned about the latest policy developments and the current political climate on Capitol Hill.  Participants also met with members of Congress and their staff to highlight the work regional development organizations are doing to improve the economy and quality of life in their regions and the federal programs that assist them.

This year’s conference included many esteemed guests and speakers:

  • Doug O’Brien, Deputy Under Secretary, Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Matthew Dalbey, Director, State and Federal Division, Office of Sustainable Communities, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Matt Erskine, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Economic Development Administration
  • The Honorable Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission
  • The Honorable Chris Masingill, Federal Co-Chairman, Delta Regional Authority
  • Greg Nadeau, Deputy Administrator, Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Mark Leibovich, New York Times Magazine Chief National Correspondent and author of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral—Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!—in America’s Gilded Capital
  • Brad Fitch, President and CEO, Congressional Management Foundation
  • NADO Executive Committee met with Rob Nabors, Deputy Chief of Staff for President Obama to discuss regional priorities for America’s communities

In addition, attendees heard from senior staff of the House Appropriations Committee, Senate Budget Committee, House and Senate Agriculture Committees, and House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on the legislative outlook for the rest of 2014 and the prevailing political climate in Washington.  The conference also provided opportunities for attendees to meet one-on-one with federal partners during the Federal Agency Networking Reception.

Other highlights of the conference included an opening reception at the U.S. Botanic Garden; breakout sessions on rural development in the farm bill, workforce, transportation, and disaster preparedness and resiliency; and an update on changes to the content guidelines for Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS).

For the second year, conference attendees traveled to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress.  Minnesota was represented by four regional development commissions and met with staff from Sen Franken and Sen Klobuchar’s office and met with Congressmen Walz, Peterson and Nolan to discuss the following:

  • Reauthorizing the transportation bill
  • Reauthorizing the Older American’s Act
  • Sustained and increased support for EDA programs and funding
  • Sustained and funding support for CDBG funds
  • Sustained support and funding for USDA Rural Development programs
  • Increased attention and discussion on addressing the lack of  market rate housing and substandard/dilapidated housing programs



Photo: Miron Carney, Chairman Southwest Regional Development Commission, Mayor of Slayton
Dawn Hegland, Upper MN Valley Regional Development Commission, Executive Director
Nicole Griensewic,Region Nine Development Commission, Executive Director
Annette Bair, Southwest Regional Development Commission,  Physical Development Director
Brad Ahrenstorff, Vice Chairman Region Nine Development Commission, Mayor of Lake Crystal
(Not pictured) Pat Henderson, Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Executive Director


Apr 2 14

Webinar April 4: Will broadband funding from the State help your community?

by Jackie S

Providers, communities and policymakers have been saying that funding is essential to reach the state broadband goal by 2015. The goal is ubiquitous access at speeds of at least 10-20 Mbps downstream and 5-10 up. Most broadband champions – in communities and industry alike -are glad to see a proposal at the legislature that proposes funding for broadband deployment. BUT have you looked at the details? Depending on the definitions agreed to in the proposed legislation’s final language, some areas of Minnesota will be better positioned to take advantage of funding than others. Will your community benefit? Or are there changes you’d like to suggest to your elected representatives before the bill passes?

Also there are some differences between the House and Senate versions of the bills. The biggest difference? The Senate is still talking about $100 million; the House has reduced that to $25 million.

To  help us all better understand the “devil in the details” of this proposed funding for broadband deployment, Blandin Foundation is hosting a webinar-based conversation with legislature-watchers who are well positioned to answer your questions and to represent the perspectives of the constituencies they represent.  Our goal with this webinar is to help you recognize whether your community could benefit based on the will be well served. The webinar comes just before legislators will make any final decisions, we encourage you to attend and learn more. (In preparation, the Blandin on Broadband blog combs through legislation:

Time: 1:30 on Friday (April 4)

Participants include:

  • Bernadine Joselyn, Blandin Foundation, Moderator
  • Senator Matt Schmit
  • Dan Dorman, Greater Minnesota Partnership
  • Laura Ziegler, League of Minnesota Cities
  • Industry representative – to be confirmed

Register here: