Skip to content
Sep 19 18

Southwest Initiative Foundation – Grow Your Own Summit

by Melissa

Too many southwest Minnesota kids aren’t getting the best start to life. We’re working to change that. Join the Southwest Initiative Foundation as we support our kids and the communities they call home. During the summit, you’ll learn and be inspired to take action that will benefit youth, as well as your own business, organization, school, community or family.

View website for details and registration 

Sep 13 18

Local Government Innovation Awards 2018

by Melissa

The entry period for 2018 will open on September 17, 2018.

Are you a school, city, township, county or Native nation that has been innovating to improve services, offer new services, create a more engaged community or reduce the cost of local government? Share your innovation for a chance to win $5,000 and a professional video highlighting your effort!

Minnesota faces the reality of an aging population, rising health care costs, and increasing demand for government services with reduced revenue. Yet many counties, cities, townships, and schools have refused to let the traditional approaches of either increasing taxes or cutting spending dictate their responses to these challenges. Instead, they are pursuing a third way: innovation and service redesign.

The Local Government Innovation Awards recognize the creative ways counties, cities, townships, schools and Native nations are making Minnesota better and doing things differently. All types of local government innovation are encouraged to enter.

Up to 20 local government entities will be recognized as award winners for their innovation. The winner in each of the four categories will also receive a professional video highlighting their work and a grant from the Bush Foundation to continue local government innovation and redesign!

This year the awards will also feature the Local Government and Native Nation Collaboration Award. This category will ask local governments and Native Nations to co-submit an application detailing a project they have collaborated on to create positive change in their communities. The Native Nation and local government entity will each receive a $5,000 grant from the Bush Foundation and a professional video highlighting their project.


This year’s awards will honor up to 20 local government entities (five cities, five counties, five townships and five schools).

One overall winner in each category of city, county, township and school will be awarded a $5,000 grant and The Local Government and Native Nation category will be awarded a $10,000 grant from the Bush Foundation.

Please note that these grants must be used exclusively for charitable, public purposes and cannot be used for direct or grassroots lobbying efforts.

Entries accepted: September 17 – October 5, 2018

Click here to view website:

Sep 13 18

September 2018 Board Meeting

by Melissa

The monthly board meeting of the UMVRDC will be held on Tuesday, September 25th beginning at 6:30pm at the Civic Center in Appleton.  This meeting is open to the public.  Informational Packet

Sep 6 18

Open Position: Program Assistant

by Melissa

Join a growing 5-county agency located in Appleton, MN. Work on exciting and diverse projects with a team of other professionals. Opportunities for growth! Degree or experience required in one or more of the following areas: graphic design, public relations, marketing, communication, business administration, administrative support. $18/hour + DOE, great benefits.  $1,000 signing incentive.

A large part of this job is to assist with marketing and communication for programs of the UMVRDC.  This includes: Western Minnesota Prairie Waters; Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway; Meander Art Crawl; UMVRDC’s Revolving Loan Fund; UMVRDC agency marketing; and various other community development plans and projects.


Position Related Information & Job Description

Forward to:

Executive Director

323 West Schlieman Avenue, Appleton, MN 56208

320-289-1981 ext101

Tour the Region:


Aug 15 18

Highway 40 and Highway 212 Pavement Projects

by Melissa

Highway 40 and Highway 212 projects start Tuesday, August 21

WILLMAR, Minn. – The Highway 40 and Highway 212 pavement projects are scheduled to begin Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

The Highway 40 project includes the resurfacing of Highway 40 from the Minnesota/South Dakota state line to the junction of Highway 119.  This project does not include the portion of Highway 40 through the town of Madison.

The Highway 212 project includes the resurfacing of Highway 212 from the Minnesota/South Dakota state line to the junction of Highway 75.

Work will not require a detour, but will be completed under traffic utilizing alternating lane closures.  Motorists should anticipate short delays.

Benefits of the project include a smoother road surface.  The cost of both projects is $4.2 million.  Knife River is the contractor.

For more information on the projects visit the project webpages at and

MnDOT asks motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving through work zones.  Remember, orange cones, no phones.

Motorists who speed through a work zone or who disobey work zone flaggers face a $300 fine.

Plan ahead for your travel using 511.  For updated statewide road conditions and construction information, call 5-1-14 or visit

For additional updates follow us on Twitter @MnDOTsouthwest.