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DL's 'history of progress' continues

Detroit Lakes is growing. More industry, residential and retail interests have all moved into the city during 2005.

"Detroit Lakes made significant gains in industrial development through its strategy of emphasizing business retention and expansion, combined with attracting new industries whose operations are suitable to our community," stated a letter to the mayor, signed by Community Development Director Larry Remmen and Development Authority President Dixie Johnson.

"We have a history of progress and a future of opportunity."

In 2005, the DLDA assisted businesses in creating 200 new jobs in Detroit Lakes, obtained approval of nearly 300 acres of JOB Zones for the state and more.

The DLDA, created in 1985, has created 1,274 jobs since its inception. To provide living quarters throughout the city, with the help of tax increment financing, the DLDA was able to assist a 24-unit multi-family development and two single-family developments. With the Public Utilities Department, the DLDA also helped in the sale of land to Menards.

Besides assistance to Menards, two other major projects the DLDA was able to assist were Doghouse Dyeworks and Lodge on the Lake.

The DLDA has also donated land to the Becker County Humane Society and worked with the Minnesota Department of Transportation with the Highway 10 Gateway Redevelopment project.

Land acquisition for city use was also prominent last year, with the purchase of 20 acres of the Cleveland farm for an expansion of the North Industrial Park and land from Don Lefebvre for future annexation of the Ray J. Anderson property along Highway 59 North and Tower Road.

Mayor Larry Buboltz said he is pleased with the growth of the city. The city has always been aggressive in annexation in order to obtain that growth.

"It's important to continue the growth of Detroit Lakes," he said.

He said in acquiring the Ray J. Anderson property and taking steps to annex the property, the city is creating a 20-year vision for the north area of Detroit Lakes.

The Becker/Lakes Industrial Development Corporation, a private, non-profit development organization, has also helped grow the city through the North Industrial Park expansion. In 1993, land in the park was sold to DL Manufacturing for expansion and to the city to develop more of the industrial park. Only four lots are available in the park.

On the more residential side of things, the Detroit Lakes Planning Commission has granted many subdivisions, annexations and variances.

The Planning Commission gave a total of 18 variances, double the number from 2004. Most of the variances were for changes to houses.

Six pieces of land were made a part of the city, including two Clear Creek phases (54 and 27 acres), two phases of Dick Pettit land (126 and 11 acres), the North Industrial Park (20 acres) and Dean Chadbourne property (4 acres).

Subdivision planning was at a high, with the planning commission reviewing 13, which Buboltz said is one of the most important things the city has seen, growth-wise.

"We are set with infrastructure for growth for the next decade," he said.

He said five to 10 years ago the city was short on housing possibilities, but not anymore. Now the city has numerous lots in numerous locations in all price ranges.

He also mentioned it was a great year for building permits, one of the highest the city has seen in years, and this will only continue to grow in 2006. With the building of Menards, the addition to St. Mary's Regional Health Center and all other incoming projects, it could just be a record year.