The Highway 23 Coalition held its Annual Meeting at The Great Blue Heron on Friday, March 9th. Over eighty members of the Coalition attended with numerous local State Representatives, Mayors and Councilors.
The meeting was part of an aggressive plan the Coalition launched to secure money to fill the gaps in the four-lane highway between Willmar and Interstate 94. There are currently two gaps in the corridor, including a seven-mile, two-lane stretch of road between New London and Paynesville and a nine-mile stretch between Paynesville and Richmond/
The Coalition is asking for money for both segments, but Aaron Backman, who is on the coalition’s board of directors and is executive director of the Kandiyohi County Economic Development said he would be “very pleased” if they got funding now for at least one of the gaps.
“This won’t be solved in one day,” Backman said on Friday. “This is not a one-time process.” Stearns County Coalition elected Board members include Commissioner Jeff Mergen, Richmond, and Jeff Betram, Paynesville. The rest of the board is from Kandiyohi County.
The Annual Meeting was an opportunity for us to listen to what’s happening on the federal side of things for transportation, directly from two of our Congressmen and also an opportunity to make a case to elected officials that it’s important we continue our efforts to fund the gaps between Willmar and I-94.
The coalition includes 60 businesses, 16 units of government and nine other organizations and individuals along the Highway 23 corridor from Marshall to I-94. For more information, contact Jeff Bertram at (320) 250-6999 or [email protected].