By Barbie Porter


More effort may be designated to creating a welcoming atmosphere for business owners in downtown Frazee. 

During the dual meeting with the Frazee Economic Development Authority and  the Frazee Planning Commission, the group discussed offering a survey to the business owners. The survey would help pinpoint where the EDA could provide support to better ensure business success.

After the information was gathered from individual sit-down meetings the information would be compiled and presented to the EDA for discussion. It was suggested once that is reviewed the EDA could set short-and-long-term goals.

EDA member Ted Anderson emphasized the importance of providing support and encouragement to businesses.

Planning commission member Brad Solberg said when he came to town and purchased Baldwin Insurance Agency a few years ago, there was no welcome committee that greeted him.

“There was no warm welcome or public outreach,” he said. 

The EDA noted there was a business group that held its first meeting just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that changed how business and meetings have been conducted for several months.

The EDA discussed encouraging that group to begin meeting again and providing examples of things the EDA can do to create a welcoming business atmosphere.

New church to be built in Red Willow Heights

The EDA heard a new church building is still planned to be constructed  in the spring in the Red Willow Heights development.

The United Methodist Church recently sold its old house of worship which is located near the high school to CornerStone for a nominal fee. The former church is being transformed into a youth center.

The United Methodist Church has had designated land in the housing development in the north part of town. Still, planning steps are required. The commission noted the land is zoned R-1, and churches can be located in that zone, providing a conditional use permit be applied for and received.

Council liaison Mike Sharp said he didn’t anticipate any issues with the church obtaining the permit, and encouraged the church members to get started on the process sooner than later if the intent was to build in the spring. He explained the process includes a recommendation to the council, council approval, letters to be sent to nearby property owners and a public hearing.

The commission also discussed potential development for the large parcels in the housing development that abut Becker County Highway 29. The group agreed a street access would be needed and the city’s 35-foot easement could be utilized for that.  

The city engineer said if no parking was allowed, the road could be a width of 26 feet, whereas if parking were allowed on one side of the street the width would be between 32-and-35 feet.

Frazee City Administrator Denise Anderson said the road construction costs would be assessed 100 percent to property owners benefiting from the street installation.

The EDA also made annual appointments. Hank Ludtke was named president and John Olson was made vice president. The group also agreed to hold its monthly meetings at 11:30 a.m. on the last Tuesday of every month.