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Winthrop EDA gives business review

by Doug Hanson
At the January 17th monthly meeting of the Winthrop Economic Development Authority (WEDA) director Michael Looft gave an update on the businesses that were seeing changes.
The purchase of the former grocery store was completed on January 12 and the new owners have already been in town reviewing the status of the building and the changes that will be made. It was mentioned that the store that the family owns in St. Paul has a full meat department and a large deli area. Comments were made that the store could open at the end of February or early March.
The pharmacy building was recently sold but there was no news on what type of business will go into it. The large office building on the south side of the street is still for sale. The party interested in that site has been investigating the costs of fitness and recreation equipment as well as applying for some grants/loans.
Looft stated that he would reach out to Winthrop Mercantile to check on the progress that is made for that opening. There was also a general discussion on other buildings that would be for sale.
With the Second Street project starting this spring, a discussion was held on how to help the businesses affected when their street and sidewalk are under construction. A possible shuttle service to get people to the various stops was mentioned. Also the Facade Grant Program to help businesses update the exterior of the building has been in progress.
Finally the STREAMS wastewater project was highlighted. The project calls for area towns to pump its wastewater to a site near Winthrop. This wastewater can then be treated and cleaned up so industries like Heartland Corn Products and M. G. Waldbaums can reuse the water.
So far Lafayette and Gibbon have agreed to help with the preliminary study of this project. Gaylord, Brownton, New Auburn and Arlington were also asked to join.

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