In the weeks leading up to November, the Highway 23 Coalition passed the 100-member mark, showing a continued interest in addressing highway needs throughout Minnesota.
Tipping the scale into the three-digit territory was Benton County as the Coalition’s official 100th member. The Coalition’s main contacts in Benton will be County Commissioner Jake Bauerly and County Administrator Monty Headley, both of whom are strong supporters of the Coalition’s goals and objectives. Benton County expressed a strong interest in seeing improvements on the Highway 23 Corridor, which was the Coalition’s initial goal when forming.
Overall, the Coalition currently has 64 businesses, 14 cities, 10 counties, 3 townships, 7 organizations, and 4 individuals supporting its goals through a formal membership. In total, there are 102 entities who have thrown their full support behind the Coalition.
On October 26th, the Highway 23 Coalition’s Board of Directors moved to approve two changes in its bylaws. The first altered the definition of the Highway 23 Corridor as it pertains to the Coalition, where the previous definition outlined the Coalition’s goals as limited to the area between Marshall and I-94. After the adopted changes, this definition was extended to include the area spanning from I-90 in southwest Minnesota up to Interstate 35 in northeast Minnesota. The new definition better reflects all of the Coalition’s current members and their interests.
The Coalition also made a few substantive changes to its board of directors, expanding from 9 members to a possible 13 directors. The rationale behind the expansion is to promote the interests of members north of St. Cloud and south of Kandiyohi County.
There will be representatives from three regions: the St. Cloud area, defined as Stearns, Benton, and Mille Lacs; the Willmar area, defined as Kandiyohi, Chippewa, and Renville counties; and the Marshall area, defined as Lyon, Yellow Medicine, Pipestone, and Rock counties. Government and business representatives will continue to serve on the board of directors.