Well, it’s official. Rainy Lake was ice free and navigable on April 28th. The ice out marks the traditional transition from Winter to Spring here in the Northland – it is both a physical and mental transition as people prepare for the Summer season. The snow birds return, the tourism season shifts its focus, construction season gets underway, gardeners get busy, and everyone celebrates the long days ahead.
In this Spring newsletter, we’ll provide an update on some of the projects underway in the area, we’ll introduce you to a extremely successful local author, profile a local fitness business, and look at fishing for river giants on the Rainy River.
Rainy Lake Medical Center/Rainy Lake Clinic. The Rainy Lake Medical Center hosted a ribbon cutting and an open house in April to showcase their totally renovated facility now called the Rainy Lake Clinic. The space was the former home of the Good Samaritan Center and over $6 million dollars of physical improvements, equipment and technology will help to provide a more functional and modern facility which will accommodate more specialty services and help recruit personnel. The improvements included a new boiler/HVAC system, an MRI Port, an Optometry Center, state of the art 3-D imaging equipment, exam rooms and more private patient areas, and an expanded parking lot. In addition, the RLMC has hired 12 full time employees in the last year including a new surgeon, internist, and orthopedist. The clinic, connected to the Rainy Lake Medical Center has consolidated the medical services of both facilities into one campus.
Road and Bike Trail Construction. This summer might be the most ambitious in terms of road construction in Koochiching County. Three major highway projects including: a 34-mile segment of Minnesota Highway 53 from International Falls to northern St. Louis County. The project includes a complete overlay and culverts, and two passing lanes and three turn lanes, a three mile rebuild/resurface segment of CSAH 332 (the local truck by-pass) between Highway 11 West and Minnesota Highway 53, and a 12-mile resurface of Highway 11 east from International Falls to Sha Sha Resort. In addition, the current bike trail from International Falls to Ranier (approximately 3 miles) will be widened and resurfaced.
TruStar Credit Union Expansion. TruStar Federal Credit Union conducted a formal ground-breaking in May on their facility expansion. The $2 million, nearly 8,000 square foot expansion will house 20 new employees. This expansion is the latest in a series of expansions since the institution was created in 1960. TruStar has 14,100 members and has four facilities in northern Minnesota.
Congratulations! Congratulations are in store for the KEDA’s own Jenny Herman for being named the Women’s Business Champion as part of the Small Business Administration’s Annual Awards. Jenny has been a part of the KEDA team for eight years and serves as a Professional Business Consultant through the Small Business Development Center’s Northeast Region.