Partnership leaders also tout downtown successes so far

    The Downtown Crookston Development Partnership presented their 2018 accomplishments and gave their ideas for 2019 to the Crookston City Council Ways & Means Committee this week.

    Next year’s project ideas are based off a $25,000 investment from the city which could assist in downtown store front improvements, business signage upgrades, lighting upgrades, energy upgrades like new furnaces or insulation, community gatherings and events like Chalk It Up, beautification and art installations, and historical signage restorations.

    DCDP members Tom Skjei and John Bridgeford spoke about the success of their portable patios project and partnership with Marc Wagner of Wagner Mobile Welding saying it’s great to see them used on the streets for events and by numerous businesses. They also touched on their lighting upgrade project and mentioned Otter Tail Power Company “picked up the tab” on a big portion of the installations.

    Businesses that have participated in the lighting upgrade project include Synergy, Crookston Paint & Glass, Snap Fitness, Bremer Bank, Crookston Daily Times, Functionally Fit, Kresl Properties, and Ye Ole Print Shoppe, plus two downtown alley ways and properties by Jeff Evers and Clayton Briggs.  

    “The savings businesses have seen have been significant,” Skjei said about the lighting project. “They changed fixtures on the main level and fixtures outside at Bremer and it tied in with their HVAC (heating venting and air conditioning.) Because they reduced the heat from the lights they didn’t need as big of an HVAC unit.”

    Later in the conversation, Ward 2 council member Steve Erickson suggested if the DCDP projects were tied to economic development that perhaps they should look at funding it through CHEDA (Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority.)