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NY Mills mayor delivers State of the City address

New York Mills Mayor Larry Hodgson's State of the City address was the highlight of the Jan. 19 Civic and Commerce Association (C&C) annual meeting.

Hodgson told members of the C&C and guests that though NY Mills is doing well, "it's not in quite as good a shape as we'd like to be in."

Saying that "businesses are the building blocks of any city," Hodgson pointed to new businesses that recently moved or opened in NY Mills as an example of the active business community in the city.

"The pendulum has swung to the positive side," Hodgson said. "We now have more businesses coming into the city than we do leaving it."

Hodgson also said that the city is well on its way to improving infrastructure for many years to come.

Hodgson touched briefly on the housing market in the city, which he said was an area that could be improved.

An upcoming challenge for the city, Hodgson said, will be the proposed cuts to Local Government Aid by the Minnesota Legislature.

"These cuts will definitely affect us and the way we do things around here," he said.

Hodgson expressed optimism that the city would find a way to get through the lack of funding.

"As business leaders," he told the C&C, "you should know that the city council and I will do our best to work with the demands of working with less funding."

Also during the meeting, the C&C set its new officers for 2011, including Nate Welte as president.

The C&C also heard a presentation on Feed My Starving Children from Tamara Langen of Langen Chiropractic in Perham.

Finally, the C&C heard a presentation from Lynn Kasma, representing the NY Mills Regional Cultural Center.

Kasma's presentation focused on her efforts to bring WiFi and broadband capabilities to the NY Mills area and her partnership with the University of Minnesota Extension to use the Internet to create rural economic development.

"People under the age of 30 do not use the Yellow Pages," Kasma said. "And as business leaders and owners, it's important that you realize this and start to use the Internet in your favor."

Kasma said that there would be a series of upcoming workshops to assist area businesses with creating a presence on the Internet.

The first will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 5:30 p.m. The focus of the first workshop, she said, will be assisting businesses get on Google Maps and create a shopping cart presence.

The second workshop will take place on March 3, and will focus on doing business over the Internet.

"The goal here is to make NY Mills more economically viable through the use of the Internet," Kasma said.

The next C&C meeting will take place on Thursday, Feb. 3 at 8 a.m. at the Mills Creamery.