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Progress› 2012

A special publication of the East Otter Tail Focus

Accentuating the Positive

Strong signs of economic development, growth and prosperity in the East Otter Tail area


the Perham Health Has Opened Its Doors. We’ve invested in state-of-the-art technologies. Crafted patient rooms that are comfortable and inviting, just like home. And we did it using an environmentally conscious design. Plus, all of the services you depend on are now conveniently located under one roof. Because the new Perham Health doesn’t just house healthcare – it enhances it. For patients and families alike. Come see for yourself. At the new Perham Health. 1000 Coney Street West, Perham, MN

Unity In The Community Here’s one thing we can all agree on: we all want a safe, healthy and prosperous community for our children and ourselves. We’d like to see our local businesses grow and prosper. Shop, invest, and volunteer locally. Be community minded. We are.

UnitedYou’re CommUnity Bank Among Friends. Perham 156 2nd St SW 218-346-5700

Dean’s 211 Market Drive 218-346-5707

Frazee 122 W Main 218-334-5501

Hwy. 59



• Over $1M in Funding Available


• Business Lots Starting at $5,400




Hwy. 10

Minneapolis St. Paul

• Among the Lowest Gas/Energy Costs in the State the city of

Perham, mN


Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive



› WELCOME We at the East Otter Tail Focus are excited to present the 2012 edition of our annual Progress Guide. This year, we’re “Accentuating the Positive,” with a focus on economic development, growth and prosperity in the Perham and New York Mills area. We certainly had no shortage of things to write about. In fact, keeping the story list at a reasonable length was probably our greatest challenge. With well over a dozen new businesses popping up over the last year, plus major industrial construction projects and expansions, as well as some demonstrated successes at longstanding companies, the Perham area showed no signs of the economic slump that much of the rest of the country is experiencing. As you’ll read in these pages, the cities of Perham and New York Mills continue to grow in some exciting ways, working to develop more affordable housing options, improve infrastructure, and attract new businesses. McDonald’s, for example, announced that it would be coming to Perham within the next year. Other recent additions to the area include Verizon Wireless, the Brew Pub, Promenade Ballroom, Homark Homes and many, many others that we’ve featured in this guide. Meanwhile, the area continues to support its existing businesses. Small or large, they just keep growing – KLN recently introduced its new NutHeads company, for example, while Lumber Depot and Lund Boats are also both in the midst of major expansions. The most talked about project of the year was undoubtedly the new hospital. At $39 million, Perham Health’s new state-of-the-art facility is about twice as big as any project that has ever taken place in Perham. The community came together in support of the project, providing proof positive of the area’s commitment to excellence. Other companies are proving their success through their years of service. Lakes Area Co-op, for one, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It’s outlasted many similar co-ops from around the region, and has grown tremendously. Dean’s Country Market, too, marked a milestone this year, with 40 years of successful business under its belt. There are so many examples like this from across the East Otter Tail County area, that it is simply too much to cover in one magazine. But our hope is that this Progress Guide will give you, our readers, a sense of our area’s vibrant economic environment – one that continues to grow, develop and prosper. That’s what “Accentuating the Positive” is all about. — Marie Nitke, Special Sections Editor

4 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Progress › 2012 GENERAL MANAGER Melissa Swenson SALES representatives James Mulcahy Deb Spiczka INSIDE SALES representative Hildie Niemela SPECIAL SECTIONS EDITOR Marie Nitke CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Trisha Marczak Connie Vandermay Heidi Kratzke RECEPTIONISTS Connie Vandermay Tanya Beachy PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Cindy Gilster ADVERTISING design Luanna Lake Veronica Marjamaa Pam Bauer Alycia Jenson Carol Finseth Rachel Poser Jenn Hanisch MAGAZINE design Sara Leitheiser

222 2nd Ave. SE • Perham, MN 56573 p: 218.346.5900 • f: 218.346.5901


Years of Service


Years of Service


Years of Service

Winkel’s carpet center

Mills liquors

State Farm InSurance

Richard Winkels, Owner

On & Off Sale

Ed Winjum, Agent

145 2nd Ave. S.E. Perham

New York Mills, MN

411 3rd Ave. SE Perham


Years of Service

Hemmelgarn Builders inc. License #3628

385-2004 218-346-2924

202 Fox Run Perham 218-346-2377


Call the Roofing PRos at

g n a a s K construction new YoRk Mills, Mn

Friendly ProFessional service

Business: 218.385.3450 Ken Cell: 218.639.3186 Lyle Cell: 218.640.2092 License #BC175073 Licensed and Insured


Years of Service

Arvig It’s all here 866-937-4227


Years of Service

Larson accounting service Accounting, Tax Preparation & Insurance 301 Centennial 84 Dr. E. New York Mills


Years of Service


Years of Service

Pine Shelter Veterinary hoSPital

Gordy’s Greenhouse

670 3rd Ave. S.E. Perham

46608 575th Avenue New York Mills




Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 19


Crestliner & Lund boats are wrapped and waiting on trailers for delivery. Crestliner boat production began a year ago in the New York Mills facility, after the Little Falls plant shut down.


The Brunswick Corporation, which owns and operates Lund Boats, is continuing an expansion of the Lund manufacturing facility in New York Mills. The company hopes to complete the additional 22,000 square feet expansion project by March. According to a company press release, “The additional space will help further facilitate the Crestliner manufacturing,” which was added in 2010 at the NY Mills plant. Dan Kubera, a media spokesperson for Brunswick Corporation, stated re-

20 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

cently that construction at the facility is continuing on course, with the majority of the work already complete. Kubera said the improvements will allow the NY Mills plant to extend one of its current manufacturing lines, as well as help to improve flow and productivity. Kubera said because of the “solid demand for Lund and Crestliner

GROWTH boats,” the New York Mills plant has hired about 170 full-time positions over the past 12 months. “Additional hiring, as always, will depend upon current and anticipated market demand,” he said. Crestliner production began at the NY Mills facility last year, when the plant in Little Falls, Minn., shut down. NY Mills Mayor Larry Hodgson said the expansion was definitely good news for the city. “Any expansion of that magnitude is going to positively affect the city and the community,” Hodgson said. “The possibility of bringing in new jobs and new people is always there.” Hodgson said he hopes the expansion is a sign of things to come for Lund Boats. “We hope that with the upswing in the boating industry, we can continue to see further advances in that manufacturing facility,” he said. ✱

Any expansion of that magnitude is going to positively affect the city and the community — Larry Hodgson, NY Mills Mayor

Your full service vet

Comple te Car e for Pam GROO pered Paws MING BY BET Mon Perham day-Friday SY • 346 -6550

We’re proud to be a part of the local communities.

The Lakeland Vet Team is available when your pet is in need. Our team delivers exceptional care and results the first time. • Prevention & Chronic Ear Diagnostic/Treatment • Advanced Orthopedic Procedures • Laser Surger/Procedures and Laser Declaw • Dental Health - Complete Care & Restoration • Digital X-Ray • Vaccinations • EMERGENCY/Grooming • Safe Boarding

Dr. Wm. M. Rose

47 38 24 years years

years years

years years


lakeland veterinarY clinic & surgical center North Highway 8 • Perham, MN Office Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5:30pm • Sat. 8am-11am

PERHAM/OTTERTAIL AREA • 218-346-6550 Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

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Evenmoresignsofgrowth... » Compass Consultants of Perham announced in June

that it had added 42 employees to its staff since the beginning of 2011. The company’s growth stemmed from the acquisition of several major contracts with clients located throughout Minnesota, including a $70 million contract to assist with building a fiber-to-the-home broadband communications network for residents of Lake and St. Louis counties.

» In February, New Creation Lutheran Church in Perham held its first worship service in its new 14,800 square-feet facility. Before that, the church, formed in 2006, held services inside the Comet Theater. The new building on Coney Street seats 250 people, plus 200 more in an overflow/fellowship hall area. It houses an education wing, offices, nursery and a commercial grade kitchen.

» After two years of planning and brainstorming, in

» The Perham area got its own Boys and Girls

Club. Participation in the popular summer and after-school program took off right away, with the number of registered kids tripling in the first few months alone. The club now employs several people, and plans to move into a new, larger space at the old hospital site this spring.

August St. Stanislaus Church officially became the Perham Center for the Arts. The building will soon be renovated into a space for musicals, plays, community orchestra performances, jazz bands and more. Organizers are currently designing a logo for the center and are working with the Lions to hold an “Art in the Park” event during the June Fest Celebration.

» West Central Ag Services opened a new office in

Perham in November. The company had operated in the area under the name Triangle Ag LCC, but now has a new name and a new home office to better serve customers.

» Three years of preparation behind

them, St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Perham broke ground on a long-range expansion project in August. The church plans to have all three phases of the $4 million project completed in 10 to 15 years. The first phase includes covering the stairs at the north entrance of the church, as well as building a drive-through entrance underneath the roof.

22 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» The city of Perham opened its

very own disc golf course in August. Located at the south end of Arvig Park, the 18-hole course was roughly a year or more in the making. It offers a fun new outdoor entertainment option to area residents and visitors.


Years of Service

EssEr Plumbing and HEating


Years of Service

Farmers Union insUrance Lisa Preuss

542 West Main Street Perham

25 Main Street N. New York Mills




Years of Service

EldErs’ HomE and HEritagE manor Serving Seniors Since 1960 New York Mills


Years of Service

Bretz Hardware Co. Perham’s oldest complete hardware

Leaf River Electric, LLC n n n n n n


DEAN GOELLER Master Electrian Bonded & Insured Contractors #EA006080 Dan Schik, Brian Holtti & Bob Biddle Journeymen

Phone: 218-385-4130




PO Box 25 110 Leaf River Road


Bluffton, Minnesota 56518


Years of Service

Lynn Thompson Insurance Life, Health, Group, Medicare, Long Term Care, Disability 32025 Finch Circle Dent 218-758-3333


Years of Service

KLN FamiLy BraNds Tuffy’s • Barrel O’ Fun Kenny’s • NutHeads


27 years of experience

Years of Service

Marlo Motors Marlo & Paul Sonnenberg 1/4 mile south of Hwy 10 on Hwy 78 Perham 218-346-5888 visit us @


Years of Service

Dan’s shoe, Canvas anD zipper repair


512 East Main Perham


Downtown Perham 121 2nd Ave SE

346-7890 dc

Noon & Evening Buffet Dine-in a To-Go b Delivery Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 23


The original Perham Creamery, in the 1920s or ‘30s.

Lakes Area Co-op celebrates centennial by Marie Nitke

It started in 1911 as a simple creamery, with a horse-drawn cart hauling milk cans into town. One hundred years later, it’s a dynamic and sprawling company, covering a 100-mile radius, holding $20 million in assets and making an expected $75 million in sales this year. What a difference a century makes. Today, what began as the Perham Cooperative Creamery Association, is now the Lakes Area Co-op. It specializes not only in milk and dairy, but fuel, feed and fertilizer, among other things. It employs 119 people, and includes five C-stores, a motel, the

24 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Perham Meat Market and Locker, three repair shops, five feed and country stores, an energy division, and more. “We’re a diversified company,” said General Manager Dale Tellinghuisen. Actually, as he explained it, it’s more like a combination of companies.


An old Perham Creamery truck. Note the instruction to “Phone 83.” Year unknown.

Parts of the Lakes Area Cooperative are very visible along 3rd Avenue SE in Perham, including the Perham Country Store (this feed mill sits behind it) and the Locker Plant (pictured on the next page).

Like all co-ops, Lakes Area is owned and demo­cratically controlled by its members. While anyone can take advantage of the co-op’s many services, only ag-producing members earn dividends. Voting members elect a board of directors, which oversees operations. Currently, Lakes Area Co-op has about 315 voting members, serves thousands upon thousands of regular customers, and holds 5,000-some propane accounts. Yet the base of the business is still dairy farms, which make up about a third of the co-op’s annual revenue. Lakes Area Co-op has been out of the milk processing business for some time now; instead, it purchases raw milk from farmers, hauls it with one

of eight large trucks, and resells it to Bongards Creameries (in Perham) for processing. Most of the co-op’s growth and success over the years has been due to mergers, acquisitions, customer loyalty and “forward-thinking board members,” said Tellinghuisen. As markets evolved, board members shifted the co-op’s focus, branching out to ensure that profits were not entirely reliant on just one product. For example, as dairy farms grew down in the 1990s, the co-op expanded into petroleum. A wise decision – today, petroleum is one of the co-ops biggest money-makers. Other sectors the co-op has branched into, with successful results, include the commercial feed business (in the 1940s), fer-

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

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› PROSPERITY tilizer and agronomy (mid-1960s), and, with the opening of multiple C-stores and the Budget Host Motel in Perham in the ‘80s and ‘90s, retail and hospitality. As Marlin Flatau put it, the co-op has grown “in leaps and bounds – and is still growing.” Flatau has been the secretary for the board of directors since 1978. When he started, the co-op made about $7 million in sales. If anyone knows how far the company has come in the last few decades, it’s him. For every successful co-op still around today, Tellinghuisen said, about 25 others have fallen by the wayside. The Lakes Area Co-op is one of those few that continue to thrive. Combining with other companies has been key to its survival. In the last two years alone, Lakes Area Co-op has gone through two significant joint ventures: first a merger in 2010 with the Menahga-based Co-op Sampo, then a joint venture in January of 2011 with Crop Production Services Incorporated. Every partnership has created opportunities for Lakes Area Co-op to enhance the products and services it provides to customers. A recap of the co-op’s history, written 50 years ago and provided to the newspaper by Tellinghuisen, describes the co-op as, “one of Perham’s greatest institutions. It has taken good times and bad in stride – had the cooperation of the businessmen at all times. Much of the transformation from the one-crop days to diversified farming and dairying as is now the rule locally, was brought about by the Association’s promotions and cooperation from the county agents and state extension services.” Looking to the future, Tellinghuisen said there are plans to continue the coop’s success: “We’re on a controlled growth plan,” he said. “The board is astute about continuing to revolve member equity.” Lakes Area Co-op has locations in Perham, Battle Lake, Vergas, Park Rapids, Menahga, Wolf Lake, Dent and Ottertail. For more information, visit ✱

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› LAKES AREA CO-OP TIMELINE 1911 – Perham Cooperative Creamery Association forms, sells 200 shares at $25 each. 1912 – Association buys the old creamery in Perham, which had been privately operated by John Krueger. 1914 – Buttermilk production for the year was sold for $125. By 1946, buttermilk brought a total of $20,551.02. 1946 – Stock rose to $142,460.24 and the net worth of the Association‘s property went over the $250,000 mark. 1957 – The creamery grossed nearly $2 million worth of dairy products. More than 2.1 million pounds of butterfat was accounted for. 1960s – Got started in the fertilizer business. 1968 – More than 43.6 million pounds of milk handled. 85,805 pounds of butter sold locally. 1970s – Bought Standard Oil Service in Perham. 1980s – Purchased Midland Oil Co. of Perham. Began opening/acquiring C-stores.

1987 – Feed mill added. 1990 – Old Perham Locker burns down; a new building is up by the following year. 1990 – Started a feed warehouse in Detroit Lakes. 1991 – Merged with Vergas Mill and Elevator. 1993 – Merged with Battle Lake Farmer’s Union Oil Company. 1994 – Hit $20 million in sales. 1994 – Merged with Elizabeth Creamery. 1995 – Purchased Perham Oasis and Motel, and the Cenex LP Gas Plant. 2007 – Hit $50 million in sales. 2010 – Merged with Menahga-based Co-op Sampo, becoming the Lakes Area Co-op (no longer the Perham Cooperative Creamery Association). 2011 – Merged with Crop Production Services Incorporated.


Years of Service

RichteR’s Mens weaR Big & Tall Tuxedo Rental 137 W. Main Perham


Years of Service

Schepper cuStom BuilderS Residential and Commercial Hwy 78 South Perham 218-346-5725



Years of Service


Years of Service

The Bake Shoppe & Deli

Jim Kytta ConstruCtion

M-F 7:30 am - 5:30 pm Sat. 7:30 am - 4pm

Jim Kytta • Lic. #1138

32 North Main New York Mills

59209 Cty Hwy 56 New York Mills 218-385-3296



Years of Service


Staebler Financial Group

New York Mills: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 8 am.-6pm; Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Phone 218-385-2765 Perham: Monday-Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Phone 218-346-6750

“Looking Ahead”




Years of Service

Ken Tervola ConsTruCTion

LIC# 20634484

Building Your Dreams #0005441


Wallpaper too!

610 3rd Ave. S.E. Perham

RichaRd Lausten constRuction 36865 535th Ave. New York Mills

Lake Region Electric Cooperative | | 800.552.7658

Years of Service

Dean’s Country Market

Years of Service

Cost Effective . Energy Efficient . Renewable With geothermal rebates, federal tax credits and EarthWI$E finance rates available, you can heat your home from the ground up while bringing your energy costs down. Learn more by contacting LREC today!

New York Mills 218-385-2862

For all your flooring needs... Carpet Vinyl Ceramic Tile Laminate & Wood

! ls ke in W n a th r he rt fu no k oo L 145 Second Ave., SE, Perham Richard Winkels 218-346-2924 Store Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 27


The staff of Steve's Sanitation, in December 2011.

they've come

A LONG WAY, BABY Steve’s Sanitation celebrates 25 years by Marie Nitke

They give their trucks funny names like “Stinkerbell,” “Susie Pew,” and “General Lee Stinky.” And they promise their customers, “Satisfaction guaranteed or double your garbage back.” Clearly, the owners of Steve’s Sanitation aren’t afraid to have a little fun with what they do. In fact, Steve Melgard and his family – wife Kay and sons Casey and Kelly – have made humor a hallmark of the family business. People in the area have come to recognize Steve’s garbage trucks for the clever things painted on their sides,

28 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

such as, “What has 18 wheels and flies?” “We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback on being able to laugh at ourselves,” said Kay. “It takes the edge off.” That it does. And taking the edge off is important, especially in a business like this. Because, let’s face it, garbage is gross. Dealing with waste is a dirty, smelly job, but somebody’s got to do it – and

they’ve got to do it right. Because, all joking aside, improper waste handling is a hazard – to nature, to animals, and to human health. Standards and procedures for waste disposal used to be much different. Before the Melgards took over the business 25 years ago, all trash in Perham – including old appliances, electronics, tires and nearly everything else – was dumped into a landfill. That ‘landfill’ was literally a big hole in the ground that went down to the water table. Perham was not alone in this practice.


Years of Service

Huber electric


Years of Service


Boll Realty Kathy Mueller, Broker

43922 Mosquito Heights Road Perham

217 Hwy 78 N Ottertail



Years of Service

Napa auto parts & service ceNter


Years of Service

King Koin Laundry

Get the Good Stuff & the Good Service! 105 Jake Street SE Perham

121 East Main Perham

218-346-7557 TOLL FREE: 877-346-7557


Years of Service

Finn Creek MuseuM New York Mills 218-385-2233


Years of Service

J.C. ElECtriC “Call us for your electrical needs.” 615 Pinewood Lane Perham


Years of Service

Full service vending coFFee services bottled water

610 East Main, Perham

346-2985 1-877-929-2100




See us for all your vending needs.

Y CAND Custom Exteriors

LakeLand Veterinary CLiniC Wellness & Medical Center W.M. Rose, DVM 44344 Cty Hwy 8 Perham 218-346-6550


Remodels & New Construction

Years of Service

Gary WaGenman ConstruCtion Residential - Commercial Concrete - Poured Walls All Types of Construction 40416 Cty Hwy 34 Perham

218-346-5560 218-758-2757 or 218-346-6756

Custom Cabinetry & Trim Work

Joe Foltz Construction, Inc. Perham, Minnesota License #20637355 • 218-371-9229

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 29

› PROSPERITY The world was just waking up to the dangers of hazardous waste, and to the benefits of recycling. In these regards, the Melgards take what they do very seriously. After starting Steve’s Sanitation, they quickly did away with the old landfill, and got behind extensive recycling and composting programs. Today, things like appliances, batteries, metal scraps and tires all get sorted into their own special areas, to be recycled. The company also offers curbside recycling pickup, and weekly curbside composting – a program that Steve said is a model for other cities throughout the state. Anything that cannot be recycled is crunched into giant trash compactors and taken to the Perham Resource Recovery Facility, where it’s incinerated. The steam generated through this process is then reused as energy for local industry; the government considers this a form of recycling. The technologies involved in this have improved remarkably in the last 25 years. Emissions from incinerators are now tested for contaminants to the parts per billion, ensuring a cleaner, healthier process and end result. Government regulations regarding waste disposal – and lots of them – are probably the biggest change the Melgards have faced over the years. Though Steve said the family is entirely in support of stricter standards, the new rules have created more paperwork and red tape, as well as significantly more cost. On any given day these days, the company’s disposal fee is what it used to be for one whole year, 25 years ago. Steve said disposal rates for them have gone up 3,500 percent. While one truckload of trash used to cost them $15 to dump, it now costs them $500 to dispose of. These increased costs have inevitably trickled down to customers over the years, with garbage pickup rates for homes and businesses tripling. The increases would have been even higher, were it not for improvements to the disposal process, creating a more efficient system.

30 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Steve's Sanitation's garbage trucks are all painted with their own funny sayings, like these, which read, "Yesterday's meals on wheels," and "Very gross weight."

Newer, high-tech trucks and other equipment make garbage pick-up smoother and safer, while semi-sized rigs speed up the process of hauling industrial waste. When Steve took over, the business had just two smaller trucks; today, there are seven, plus three big roll-off trucks and trash compactor bins. The company has grown in other ways,

as well. Steve’s has expanded geographically into Battle Lake, Vergas, New York Mills, Bluffton, Basswood, Dent, Richville, Ottertail and other areas, serving roughly 4,000 households. It is the largest trash hauler in Otter Tail County. Growth of the company has mostly been due to natural growth of the area, said Steve, particularly industrial growth.

› PROSPERITY Because of Perham’s big businesses, such as Tuffy’s and Barrel ‘O Fun, the city generates 15 tons of waste per day – 10 times the amount generated by some entire counties. One of the services Steve’s Sanitation provides is working with these large companies to help design and execute appropriate waste disposal plans. Very recently, for example, Steve’s participated in several meetings with Perham Health officials, helping to plan a safe and efficient disposal system for the new hospital. Things have come a long way for Steve and Kay since they first moved back to their hometown of Perham, where they wanted to raise their kids. The couple saw “a wonderful opportunity” in the Perham sanitation business, which was for sale at the time, so they purchased it. At first, they were running the company out of their home, working 70

Steve’s has expanded geographically into Battle Lake, Vergas, New York Mills, Bluffton, Basswood, Dent, Richville, Ottertail and other areas, serving roughly 4,000 households hours per week, not including the bookwork they did at night. It was a busy lifestyle, with virtually no time off. It was just the two of them, and their two young boys. Today, those boys are all grown up and plan to carry on the family business after their parents retire – but that probably won’t be for a while yet. Steve and Kay still work hard for their company, though they have 13 employees to help them out. They’re also operating out of a much

CanvasWork Inc. NOw OfferINg:

Digital Printing Custom Indoor & Outdoor Vinyl Banners, Trade Show Displays • Boat Lift Canopies • Boat Covers • Contract Sewing • Tarps • Barn Curtains and Repair 305 Bach Avenue New York Mills, MN 56567 (218) 385-2003

larger facility now, and they work from an office that they built in 2005. Looking forward, Steve said he is interested in continuing his company’s growth, as long as that doesn’t mean putting anyone else out of business. He plans to continue his efforts to out-service and out-price the competition, and to stay on the forefront of recycling. “It’s been really fun,” he said of the last 25 years. And that’s no garbage. ✱

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BEER • WINE • SET-UPS Eat-In or Take-Out


10am-10:30pm Mon-Fri • Noon-11pm Sat & Sun

407 E. Centennial Drive New York Mills, Minnesota

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 31



Country Market 40 years of progress and growth by Connie Vandermay

here was a time when Dean Simpson bartered with suppliers for goods. In his little shop in downtown New York Mills, with two aisles of groceries and a fresh meat counter, Simpson did a little exchanging with farmers in order to keep fresh eggs in the cooler. In the back room of the shop, he had a candling machine set up so he could easily check the quality of those eggs (a candling machine shines a bright light through the eggshell, making air pockets, blood clots and other signs of poor quality eggs easy to spot). Now, 40 years later, Simpson’s bartering and candling days are far behind him. That little shop in NY Mills has grown

32 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

into two full-size grocery stores, including one in Perham, which offer far and above the basics – trying to fulfill the company’s well-known jingle, “Dean’s Country Market… We got it all.” Growing In 1972, at the age of 21, Dean Simpson bought the general merchandise store in NY Mills from the late Amanda Fritz, changed it into a grocery store, and called it Dean’s Country Market. As Simpson explained in an interview, Dean’s quickly outgrew that first establishment, and in 1976 he built a new store near Highway 10.

The next year, Dean’s expanded again, this time to neighboring Perham. Simpson established a second Dean’s Country Market in an 8,500 square foot building on the south side of Perham. He stayed in that facility, expanding three times, until business outgrew both the store and the parking lot. In the spring of 2007, Simpson opened the current establishment on Market Drive, near the intersection of Highways 10 and 78. Then and now Technology has changed quite a bit in the grocery industry over the last four decades.


Years of Service


Years of Service

BHH Partners Planners/arcHitects

Gary Honer Saw & Tool

Anthony J. Stoll, AIA, Principal Architect

Small Engine Repair

Minnesota 218-346-4505 Colorado 970-453-6880 or 970-513-1000


Years of Service

Walt Seifert ConStruCtion Residential & Commercial (General Contracting Work - New & Remodeling Construction) 43932 Mosquito Heights Road Perham

34684 State Hwy 108 Dent 218-758-2182


NadiNe’s Ladies FashioNs 145 W. Main Perham 218-346-2615


Years of Service

Dent Lions


5,000 Discount*


in New York Mills

The HOMARK COMPANY has been an employee-owned company since 1991, located in Red Lake Falls, Minn., specializing in custom built IRC or HUD homes to meet our customers’ personal needs. With the success story of the employee-owned factory, we are now expanding our business to the retail end by selling factory direct to you, our valued customer [no middle man].


Years of Service

When you order your new custom-designed HOMARK Home, we work with you during the entire process - from building the home to the time the home is finished on your site. Stop out and see our modular IRC display homes and let us help you with your customdesigned home needs. Visit us online at

Perham Steel & Welding Ashley Furniture Retailer

644 West Main Perham 218-346-6750

Hwy. 10 west • PO BOx 276 New yOrk Mills, MN 56567

Roger G. Anderson, Manager Email:


tOll Free: 1-888-676-1555


Years of Service


Jack Bishop, Sales

*Some exclusions


Years of Service

Our People make the Difference My husband and I both grew up in the Perham area and feel very fortunate that we can now call it home again. I graduated from Perham High School in 1995, did my pre-pharmacy at St. Cloud State University, and completed my pharmacy degree at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Ever since moving back to the Perham area in 2005, I have been employed with Seip Drug. We have three children – Maggie (8), Ben (5) and Charlie (almost 2). They keep me busy, but in my free time I enjoy being on the lake, reading and just hanging out with the family.

Greenspire Graphics Embroidery, Screenprinting & Promotional Products 120 E. Main Perham

Jodie (Flatau) Trites Pharmacist

218-346-6050 1-800-699-8337


Years of Service

Schmitz Body, Paint & RePaiR 830 West Main Perham 218-346-3211

Susan (Malone) Altstadt Certified Pharmacy Tech

• Friendly, knowledgeable staff readily available to answer your questions.

During my first 25 years in Perham I enjoyed providing childcare. Going back to school for a new career in the Pharmacy Tech Program at Minnesota State Community and Technical College - Wadena was a wonderful opportunity. My husband Roger and I have three children, one daughter-in-law and our first grandchild on the way. I enjoy spending time in the “great outdoors” with my family and friends. Other hobbies include quilting, gardening and biking. Being involved with Perham Rotary, Master Gardener Program and Lady Slipper Garden Club gives me the opportunity to enjoy the people and landscape of the Perham area.

Your Hometown Drugstore

• Free in-town delivery and mail out. • Convenience of our drive-up window at Perham. • Independently-owned and giving back to the community.

New York Mills • 385-3360 Perham • 346-3380 Ottertail • 367-2196

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 33

› PROSPERITY When Dean’s first opened, items were not scanned – everything had to be hand marked and entered in the till manually. Ordering products was different back then, too. A salesman would come into the store with a notebook and personally write down orders while walking through the store with Simpson. Then a few days later, the merchandise would be delivered. Now the department managers walk through their sections, punching codes into a machine to send orders electronically. And as long as the order gets in the system by deadline and the distributor has the product, the turnaround is much quicker, usually next day. Mason Brothers, out of Wadena, has been Dean’s main supplier, although Dean’s still continues to buy as much produce from local farmers as he can. Managers also go to food shows, where they pre-book holiday merchandise and see new products on the market. Simpson tries to stay involved in the operations, and will occasionally come across ‘manager specials’ – products he can offer at reduced prices if he orders a large quantity – like the shrimp scampi he sold last winter for 99 cents a box. The way food arrives, the size of food packages and the amount of convenience food has also changed a lot over the years. Simpson remembers when watermelons were 40 pounds. Now, they are rarely over 10. Meat cutting has probably changed the most, with the majority of meat now coming shelf-ready. Back in time, whole beef, pork and chickens were purchased and pieced out, but today beef and pork come in primal cuts, sections meant for a certain type of steak or roast. Convenience foods – frozen pizzas and noprep meals – have grown in demand over the last few decades. At the beginning, the store had just four freezers, and now, between NY Mills and Perham, there are more than 140. Some things haven’t changed, though: Dean’s continues to try to offer things that appeal to each customer – expanding on organic, gluten-free and other specialty foods. For the first time this year, at the request of a customer, Dean’s offered natural organic field grazed turkeys.

34 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Dean Simpson stands in front of the Perham store, which opened in the new building in 2007.

Looking back, Simpson said his retail business has come full circle. When he bought out Fritz’s general store in 1972, Simpson quit offering general merchandise and went to exclusively groceries. Now, the general merchandise has worked its way back into his stores. In recent years, Dean’s has offered everything from books to bed sheets, and automotive supplies to kitchen gadgets. There are a variety of gifts available, too – fresh flowers, toys, and, most recently, decorations by Nature’s Corner. In the last decade, Simpson has tried to make his stores one-stop shops, with pharmacies in both locations, and a bank and deli in Perham. Many employees have been with Dean’s for years, seeing the changes and helping the stores become what they are today. Simpson said, “It’s the greatest compliment when employees stay with us until retirement.” Forty years ago, Simpson had just three employees, but today it’s closer to 100 between both stores.

A community man Simpson splits his time between NY Mills and Perham, doing ad sets and seeing to all employee relations. “And drinking a lot of coffee,” he joked. Simpson said he tries to be a “good corporate citizen by being an active part of both Perham and NY Mills communities.” He is an active member of the NY Mills Lions and Civics and Commerce, as well as the Perham Rotary and Chamber of Commerce. Looking back over 40 years, Simpson said he was offered a lot of opportunities because of being self-employed. He was mayor of NY Mills for 25 years, a volunteer fireman in NY Mills for 20 years, and even enjoyed a “six year hiatus from the grocery business as a State Representative for District 10B.” Looking ahead, Simpson hopes Dean’s will “continue to be a first class grocery operation serving the needs of the community.” ✱


Years of Service


Years of Service

Galaxy ResoRt

Dean’s appliance anD RefRigeRation seRvice

Hwy 108 Dent

Residential Repair Over 30 Years Experience

12 miles east of Pelican Rapids on Hwy 108, 1/2 miles south on Hwy 41



Years of Service

ThrifTy WhiTe Pharmacy & GifTs 125 1st Ave So Perham 218-346-4840

St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church



Years of Service

101 Gilman Street West P.O.Box 7 New York Mills, Mn 56567 Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00-12:00


EaglEs CafE 31 Main Ave. N. New York Mills 218-385-2469

e-mail: Check out us out on the web: Or on Facebook

Worship Service at 9:00 on Sunday

Communion the 1st, 3rd and 5th Sundays of the month Sunday School September-April at 10:00-11:00 St. Peter’s Youth (SPY) 7-12th grade & 3rd-6th grade Programs

Pastor Rev Ryan D. G. Stout


Years of Service


Bluffton oil Company

Mid-State auto auction

Serving the community over 75 years. Bulk fuel, Shell motor oil and tires.

Serving over 1800 Dealers in the Mid-West and Canada

101 Prospect St. Bluffton

Box 100 New York Mills 218-385-3777



Years of Service

Dan’s Towing & RepaiR 20 East Centennial Drive New York Mills 218-385-2785


It’s due time that you checked out the Perham Area Public Library!

Years of Service

Free Wi-Fi Free public computer use

Years of Service

Truax auTo SaleS Buy a Quality Vehicle From Someone You Can Trust. 213 State Highway 29 S. Deer Creek 218-462-2765

225 2nd Ave. NE • Perham 218-346-4892 1922-2012

Free downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks available Free weekly stor y time for children find us on Facebook under Perham Area Public Library

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 35


Nate Seip started his business in New York Mills 23 years ago. He rented a section from Dean’s Country Market in 1988, and since then the business has grown to 11 stores.

SEIP DRUG doubles in size in five years by Connie Vandermay

When Nate Seip went into business in 1988, at least half of his customers used cash to purchase prescriptions. Today, with a majority of people having insurance, the cash sales are closer to 10 percent. The shift from cash to insurancepaid prescriptions probably marks the biggest change in the pharmaceutical system that Nate has seen in 23 years, but as Seip Drug progresses into the 21st century, some things remain the same. Like Nate’s personal service core business model.

36 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Unlike some pharmacies, when customers call into Seip Drug, a person answers the phone. Though automated systems have benefits, Nate insists on the personal service that no machine can give. As Nate sees it, prescriptions are a service, not a product. According to other pharmacists,

like Jodie Trites, they’re not just filling a script; they’re helping people manage their medication. This model is called Medication Therapy Management (MTM), and it’s the current way pharmacists are being trained. Some changes Nate has grabbed on to, and his business has thrived because of it. In the last five years alone, Seip Drug pharmacies have popped up in seven different locations – and some of these opportunities wouldn’t be possible without new technology.

› PROSPERITY The pharmacy in Ottertail is a good example of this. The Ottertail location opened in the fall of 2010 as a ‘telepharmacy,’ which means customers talk to pharmacists via video and audio technology. Though a pharmacist is not at the Ottertail location full time, a pharmacist is constantly available by video. This saves customers from having to

ever, when an economic development team out of Henning approached him because they would soon be short a drug store, Nate decided to step up to the plate. He opened Seip Drug in Henning in 1995. Similar situations happened in other area towns, too, when lack of pharmacies, pharmacies closing, or people retiring gave opportunities for

...a drug store is an essential component for a healthy small town economy. — Nate Seip, Owner of Seip Drug drive all the way to Perham to talk to a pharmacist, especially when Ottertail has clinics right in town, too. Other new changes in the pharmacy world relate to customer convenience, as well. For example, customers can get flu shots now, and prescriptions are sent electronically from doctors, saving a step for the customer. As Seip Drug expands to other towns, Nate tries to be a part of those communities. For example, the Perham location offers a card program through which, for every 10 prescriptions filled, Seip donates $10 to the school. After a certain amount of cards are filled, Seip staff calls the school and asks what’s needed. Past purchases have been textbooks, cameras, and other specific items on a wish list. Growing In 1988, Nate Seip opened Seip Drug in New York Mills inside the Dean’s Country Market building. The former drug store downtown had been bought out by Thrifty White and then shut down, leaving NY Mills without a pharmacy. Nate was content to continue operating in NY Mills alone, and had no plans to expand his business. How-

Seip Drug to expand. Nate said the expansions have been a good thing because, “a drug store is an essential component for a healthy small town economy.” The stores Four of Nate’s 11 total pharmacies operate out of grocery stores, which is a beneficial setup. “Grocery stores are nice because they have built in foot traffic, and are simpler and easier to run,” Nate said. The rest of the Seip stores are full size drug stores, with gift shops. One benefit to having a gift shop means more market opportunities and higher profit margin. In the beginning, when Nate owned just the one store, the amount of merchandise he could bring in was limited. Typically, special deals are only offered to buyers who purchase in large quantities, which generally makes purchasing difficult for small shops. However, a business owner with eleven shops to supply products for is able take part in these deals. Bonnie Nelson, who has been with Seip since 1988, is the gift buyer and operations manager of the NY Mills store. Nelson tries to bring in product

that is unique to the area, including Abdallah candies, Willow Tree products and Wood Wick candles. Seip Drug also has school apparel for the local communities. A word of advice Nate, a pharmacist himself, spends his days between the pharmacies, filling in for the other full-time pharmacists. Seip said his employees “tend to have good longevity,” which is important in the pharmacy world, as it can cut down on mistakes. Nate said, if he could give any advice as a pharmacist, he would encourage people to go to the same pharmacy every time. When all scripts are filled in one place, things like prescription interactions are more likely to be identified before any damage is done. Pharmacist Trites had this tip: “Don’t be afraid to ask the pharmacist questions about over-the-counter medicine, too.” Sometimes it isn’t safe to mix over-the-counter medicines with certain prescriptions, and pharmacists can clearly show this to customers. Whatever the question, those at Seip Drug are there to help. ✱

SEIP DRUG TIMELINE 1988 New York Mills 1995 Henning 1997 Frazee and Detroit Lakes 2007 Perham, Battle Lake and Moorhead 2009 Park Rapids 2010 Bertha, Menahga, and Ottertail

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 37


Tender Hearts Home Care owner, Kerrie Steinbach.

TENDER HEARTS HOME CARE assisting locals and their loved ones by Connie Vandermay t’s been a great year for Kerrie Steinbach, owner of Tender Hearts Home Care in New York Mills. With an average of 190 clients, she stays plenty busy with her growing business – and with raising her four girls. Steinbach says she is thankful for the flexibility her job provides, allowing her to spend time with her children and her husband, Steve, who

38 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

works as a crop farmer. Steinbach primarily helps with the business and employee matters of Tender Hearts Home Care, but still says she tries to visit clients as frequently as she can. “The most important thing to me is that my clients are well taken care of,” Steinbach stresses. She has around 150 employees at any given time, in addition to part-time office assistance from Sandy Barthel.

Barthel began working at Tender Hearts Home Care three years ago, when Steinbach moved the business from her home to its present location in the city of New York Mills. “This building has been great because it gives us our privacy and provides a convenient location for the business,” Steinbach says. Tender Hearts Home Care first opened in 2003. With its 10-year an



Years of Service

Bradley r. Helmeke, lTd

Years of Service

Steve’S Sanitation, inc.

CPA with offices in Perham and Vergas

240 6th Ave. NE Perham

347 W Main Perham


Perham 218-346-7645 Vergas 218-342-2481



Years of Service

Ottertail CustOm Cabinetry

Years of Service

Niemela RepaiR

35 years of experience. 559 E. Centennial 84 Dr. New York Mills

94 Lake Ave. S. P.O. Box 35 Ottertail



Great American Think-Off

• • • •

Plumbing Electrical Paint & Supplies Lighting

• • • •

Lawn & Garden • Animal Health • Pet Supplies Tools Rental Department • And Many Other Homeowner Projects Farm Supplies

945 Market Street • Perham 218-346-6275 Mon. – Fri.: 7:30 - 7:00 • Sat.: 7:30 - 6:00 • Sun.: 10:00 - 4:00

(kul cher) n. (

20th Annual

Visit us for all your home improvement projects

“The nature of humankind: inherently good or inherently evil?” Saturday, June 9th at 7:00pm New York Mills Schools, Performing Arts Auditorium Submit your 750 word (or less) essay to our mailing address (PO Box 246, New York Mills, MN 56567), or email to, or online at Four finalists will each win a $500 cash award and traveling and lodging expenses to the debate.

Deadline for receipt of essays is April 1. Visit our website to find information about concerts and other arts events at the Center. Telephone: 218-385-3339

Jay Wipperling GET CULTURED... • Art • Dance • Drama • Literature • Music • Philosophy

N e w Yo r k M i l l s

Regional CultuRal CenteR

24 North Main Avenue • P.O. Box 246 • New York Mills, MN 56567

Fully Insured TREE PRUNING STUMP REMOVAL TREE REMOVAL LOT CLEARING AERIAL BUCKET SERVICE 36500 Cty. Hwy. 67 New York Mills, MN 56567 218-385-3420 Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 39


The Tender Hearts Home Care facility in NY Mills.

niversary slated for next year, Steinbach is pleased with the growth the business continues to see. “I started my business from the ground,” she explains. “We offer a lot more services now than we did in the beginning.” Examples of services available through Tender Hearts Home Care include PCA (Personal Care Assistant) Choice, Homemaking, and Respite Care. “We also do long-term care insurance, private pay, and MA,” Steinbach mentions.


Years of Service

Seip Drug

This spring, she says she is looking forward to their employee in-service training. A registered nurse performs this training for the staff once a year. It’s a fun time for the entire group to get together and make sure everyone is on the same page, she said. With all of the recent state cutbacks, Steinbach admits running a business of this nature can often be quite a challenge. Drawbacks aside, she still enjoys the opportunity to help local families. The amount of word-of-mouth referrals to Tender Hearts Home Care speaks


Years of Service


for itself. Steinbach says this is the number one way she receives new clients. “Every year we see growth,” said Steinbach. Along with this growth is the opportunity to meet new people and make a difference in the area. Steinbach encourages those who are worried about a loved one to give her a call at 218-385-3466. Even if the services offered through Tender Hearts Home Care are not what a loved one requires, she says she is happy to help steer callers in the right direction. ✱

Years of Service

Dean’s auto BoDy

Ben Holzer Unlimited

Hwy. 10 E New York Mills

Kinetico Water conditioners, Drinking Water Systems, Reverse osmosis, Bottled Water

Nathan Seip 2 Dean’s Country Market Locations: New York Mills - 218-385-3360 Perham - 218-346-3380

40 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive


Perham 218-346-6445 or 1-800-459-8162


Years of Service

New HorizoNs realty of PerHam, iNc. Building a Name You Can Trust! Chad Anderson, Broker/Owner 423 W. Main Street Perham 218-346-7767 www.perhamrealestate.ocm Email:


Years of Service

Super 8 Motel & rV CaMpground 106 Jake Street SE Perham


Years of Service

Ok Tire STOre

We’re proud to call this home

Hwy. 10 & 78 Next to Perham Oasis Perham

218-346-7888 218-346-7100


Years of Service

New York Mills regioNal Cultural CeNter 24 North Main Avenue New York Mills 218-385-3339


Years of Service

Marian Dertinger Window Treatments, Draperies, Vertical & Mini Blinds, Etc.

Perham • 346-1300 1-800-908-BANK (2265) Member FDIC

New York Mills 218-385-3505


Years of Service


Years of Service

Hair Haven

Guardian Crop insuranCe

127 East Main Perham

109 Coney Street West Perham


218-346-7290 1-800-582-7290


Years of Service


Years of Service

AquA LAwn, Inc.

Service Food MArket

•Lawn Sprinklers • Start Ups • Sales and Service • Professional Design and Installation • Complete Line of Inventory • Commercial and Residential - Lic. #TS01383 FRee eSTImaTeS 218-346-3890 Serving the Entire Lakes Area Since 1992

Serving you best! 250 East Main St. Perham 218-346-7800

LogoHomePerham.indd 1

1/9/12 8:25 AM

Our staff is trained to provide quality care with love and kindness • Skilled Nursing Care • Medicare/Medicaid Certified • Post hospital care • Rehabilitative services • Short term or long term stays • Alzheimer’s Special Care Unit • Non-profit Christian sponsored home • Hospice Care • Family Support Groups • 51 years of service

Call 218.385.2005 for more information on how we can help.

If you have a loved one who needs quality care, consider New York Mills Elder’s Home

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 41


JEFF OAKLAND finds his niche

Oakland boat repair by Heidi Kratzke

eff Oakland is known in the area for two very separate things. First, he’s the owner of Oakland Boat Repair in New York Mills. And second, when he’s not busy at work, his weekend gigs have earned him some additional recognition – as the lead guitar player with the Cut Loose band. Oakland first opened his boat repair business in 1998 while he was still working at Lund Boats in NY Mills. “I worked at Lund Boats for 24 years,” Oakland said. “I started there straight out of high school.” His time at Lund provided him with a wide array of knowledge about the boat industry. Oakland explained, “I worked in practically every station at Lund. So, I pretty much got to know every step of the process.” When he did make the transition to full-time self-employment with his repair business, Oakland was well prepared for the job. He said he enjoys the flexibility that comes with being his own boss. Right now it’s just Oakland working at the boat repair business, but his wife and kids help out on occasion. One day, he said, he hopes to expand the business with more family involvement. Oakland works on everything from jet skis to pontoons. He puts in live wells, replaces rotten floors, installs new carpeting, and just about every other aspect of boat repair imaginable. One of his favorite tasks is wiring the boats that come in to his shop. Sometimes the projects he takes on are relatively minor, but Oakland also mentioned one of the more extreme cases of damage he recently undertook. A woman brought in her fishing boat that a tree had fallen on during a storm. Oakland was able to repair the boat to the

42 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Jeff Oakland, in front of his business in New York Mills, Oakland Boat Repair.


Years of Service

NortherN IrrIgatIoN CoNtraCtors INC. 45214 Cty. Rd. 80E Perham 218-346-7246


Years of Service

Mrs. B’s

Keeping your business local is not only your right but it’s your CHOICE

43869 425th St. Perham 218-346-6772

Lindsay Zimmatic • John Deere Stihl • Jonsered


Years of Service


Years of Service

Mike’s PluMbing and Heating

Cutting EdgE of PErham, inC.

Mike and Brenda Niemela New York Mills

- Lawn Care - Snowmobile & ATV Repair - Parts & Accessories -


745 2nd St. NE Perham 218-346-5004


Years of Service

Subway of Perham The place where fresh is the taste! 642-3rd Ave. South Perham 218-346-6886


Years of Service

Northwoods ElEctrical & coNtrol systEms 616 Pinewood Lane Perham 218-346-7763


Years of Service

Pizza Ranch

The Clear ChoiCe for Glass repair and replaCemenT ClydE & doNNa, owNErS 507 East Main Street, Perham, MN 56573

218-346-2075 • Toll Free 1-800-550-2447


n home décor n fashions n jewelry n scarves n outside elements n porch décor n candles n silk florals n baskets n funky containers

Offered by

1105 Market

121 2nd Avenue SE Perham 218-346-7890


Years of Service

We invite you to experience Jezebel

Foster’s Marine service, LLc

– Open All Year – Watch & listen for Jezebel’s events throughout the year

Johnson/Evinrude/MerCruiser Authorized Service Center

159 1st Ave. S. • Perh

Monday - Saturday


159 1st Avenue South Perham, MN 56573 218-346-2570

Home Décor, A Candles, Outside E & Gift Ce


May 26-29 Grand Openin Aug. 5 & 6 Crazy Days Nov. 3-5 "The E2 Event" Nov. 21 Fresh winterberie - It's a Jezebel look! Nov. 25 - Dec. 24 - It's a J

Regular Hours: Monday-Saturday 10:00-5:00

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

(218) 346-

Watch for extended hour and Holiday treats!

43767 Fort Thunder Road Perham Phone: 218-346-3773 Fax: 218-346-6394

» 43

› PROSPERITY point where, when it left the shop, you couldn’t even tell that anything had ever happened to it. “It’s rewarding when you get done and the boat looks nice,” he said with a sense of satisfaction. Oakland has several before and after pictures of his work on his website, He also owns a 1982 Lund XRF Super Pike that he has completely restored. The one piece of advice that Oakland has for boat owners is to not wait until spring to get their boats fixed. With the spring rush a certainty, now is a great time to see to it that all necessary repairs are made. Once spring arrives, he said, it’s time to hit the lake! ✱

A customer’s boat before Oakland’s handiwork, and after.

Even more signs of prosperity... » United Community Bank of Perham celebrated its

100-year anniversary in June. Chartered in 1911, the family-owned bank has grown considerably over the years – for example, it’s gone from employing three people to about 70. In recognition of the milestone, UCB hosted a community party that included live music, food and more. In other big news for the bank in 2011, it acquired Farmers State Bank of Dent. UCB President, Charlie Cavanagh, stated at the time of announcement that, “We look forward to continuing the strong local service” that Farmers State Bank had provided for more than 107 years.

» Long-time Perham goldsmith and jeweler, Dale Wright, set up a new shop inside the Ghost Runner Building in the fall. Wright had owned Perham Jewelry for more than 35 years before selling the business four years ago (it now operates as T.A. Gould Jewelry). He has been making jewelry since 1952. The name of his new shop is Dale’s Jewelry.

44 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» Heart of the Lakes Credit Union merged with the Central Minnesota Credit Union. The merger fortified an informal relationship between the two credit unions that had existed for more than 30 years. The Perham and New York Mills branches of Heart of the Lakes Credit Union now operate as the Heart of the Lakes branches of Central Minnesota Credit Union.


Years of Service


Professional agronomy services 725 East Main St. Perham 218-346-2355 220 Bottemiller Drive Wadena 218-631-7261


Years of Service

Years of Service

Phil’s Plumbing

Providing Quality Care for 9 Years

Tender HearTs Home Care

Kerrie Steinbach, owner 407 Carlund Parkway New York Mills, MN 56567

Countywide Plumbing Service Specializing in New Home Plumbing Repairs • Remodeling • Water Softeners and a Complete Line of Fixtures 218-346-5977 “PLumb CRazy!”


Years of Service

Kangas ConstruCtion

Visions Glass auto and Home

Friendly, Professional Service License #BC175073 Licensed and Insured

507 East Main Street Perham, MN

New York Mills

Business: 218-385-3450 Ken Cell: 218-639-3186 Lyle Cell: 218-640-2092

346-2075 Toll Free 1-800-550-2447

•U Care •Medica •SCHA, LTC. Ins. •1st Solutions •Blue Cross/Blue Plus •Private Pay •Medical Assistance Phone:

218.385.3466 877.362.9784

Fax: 218-385-3583 E-mail:

The leader in service, price and quality! Enjoy our “homemade” line of smoked and marinated meats, fresh baked breads and pastries, eat in or take out deli specials — we have the taste and convenience you are looking for.

New York Mills: Monday-Friday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Saturday 8 am.-6pm; Sunday 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Phone 385-2765 PerhaM: Monday-Sunday 7 a.m.-11 p.m. Phone 346-6750 food stamps and wic coupons welcome here


Country Market New York Mills aNd PerhaM SERVING EAST OTTER TAIL COUNTY OVER


Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 45


Lumber Depot owners, Peggy and Chris Rutten, and store manager, Brent Olson, stand in front of the new building on Centennial Drive. A grand opening is scheduled for March. The former building on the corner of Main and Centennial was demolished last spring per the agreement that Homestead Building Company had with the railroad. Now the corner lot stands empty, although the city of New York Mills has talked about purchasing this “prime real estate” from Burlington Northern.

46 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive


Though all the design details aren’t complete, The Lumber Depot in New York Mills is in the process of moving some parts of its business over to the new facility.

Expanded services at the Lumber Depot by Connie Vandermay

When Chris and Peggy Rutten took over the lumber business in New York Mills last April, their enthusiasm and experience in construction helped them lay out an impressive expansion plan. The plans included a bigger building, an expanded showroom, and an active website. Now, almost nine months later, the new Lumber Depot on Centennial Drive has progressed to where the Ruttens envisioned it to be. Currently operating out of a temporary building a block away, the Rut-

tens are completing the final steps to finish their one-stop help center, offering everything from design assistance and drafting to delivery. The staff will even help customers find a contractor. With more than 20 years of experience in the construction business, the Ruttens and the rest of the Lum-

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Âť 47


While building the new store, Lumber Depot operated temporarily out of the old office building for Mid-State Auto across the street.

ber Depot staff aims to make the building process easier for every handyperson out there. Peggy said, “Our staff has a great deal of experience and knowledge in all areas of building.” For example, store manager Brent Olson has a degree in Building Construction Drafting and Estimating (BCDE), plus more than 19 years of experience in the lumber business. Along with the vast professional knowledge, the new lumber yard will of-

expanded showroom. Peggy said, “Our showroom will be ever-changing as we intend to keep updated products at our forefront.” The displays will allow “customers to actually see and touch products to help them make choices,” Peggy said. The new lumberyard will have upgraded technology to offer online ordering and email invoicing for customer convenience. A website has also been developed,, to provide information

Our staff has a great deal of experience and knowledge in all areas of building. — Peggy Rutten, Owner of Lumber Depot fer a few things that NY Mills has never seen before. A drive-through service, for instance. Customers will be able to drive right up to the entry door, where staff will take their orders and load their vehicles for them. Another exciting aspect will be the

48 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

on the brands Lumber Depot offers. Peggy said a local lumber yard can be an important part of a thriving community like NY Mills. “The local lumber yard can be a key component to rural towns, but having signs and T-shirts made, website develop-

ment, computer assistance, vehicle repairs, and really good pork chops right outside our door is every bit as essential,” Peggy said. Because of the new lumber yard, three jobs from the Homestead Builders were saved, and two more people were hired, Peggy said. The Lumber Depots hopes the future will include more hiring opportunities, she said. The Lumber Depot is currently operating at a temporary site across the street, but a grand opening in the new building is planned for March. “It’s a great time for locals to stop in and see what we’ve been buzzing about, for contractors to stop in and visit with our vendors who will be on-site for the event, and do-it-yourselfers to browse around and check out new products that we carry,” said Peggy. There will be plenty of food, refreshments and many door prizes. The Lumber Depot may be reached at 218-385-2375 (same number as former Homestead) or by email at lumberdepot. ✱

Operated Operated your your

Who Whoowns owns


Years of Service

Vergas 66 gas & ConVenienCe Located across from the Fire Hall


Years of Service

Perham auto rePair Fort Thunder Road Perham

Vergas 218-346-4875

Years of Service

Klinnert Seed Company


Years of Service

50372 390th Street New York Mills

24-Hour Banking 1-800-908-BANK


Perham Truck Service 43589 425th St. Fort Thunder Road Perham


JH SignS & DeSignS Justin Helmeke 744 W. Main Perham 218-346-7446

· The volunteer Board of Directors

· Earnings are returned to members through better rates and lower fees

Stopininor or call call to out how Stop tofind find out how you anmember! member! youcan canbecome become an 101101 Main North| |New New York MainAvenue Avenue North York MillsMills 108 Street Perham Stop in Judd or call to find out how 108 Judd Street | |Perham 888.330.8482 you can become an member! 888.330.8482 | | 101 Main Avenue North | New York Mills 108 Judd Street | Perham Equal Opportunity Employer 888.330.8482 |


Federally Insured by NCUA

Years of Service

Paul’s Plumbing and Heating Licensed, Bonded & Insured Master Plumber License #609950PM 48655 428th Street Perham 218-346-PAUL (7285)


· Every member has equal ownership

· Every member has equal ownership

Federally Insured by NCUA


Years of Service


Bremer 801 Market St. Perham


financial institution?

· Earnings are returned to members through better rates and lower fees

Seed and Outpost! See us for all your seed and hunting needs!

Years of Service


is elected by the members, for the · The volunteer Board of Directors ismembers elected by the members, for the members



Owned financial institution? financial institution? Operated Who owns your


Years of Service

Equal Opportunity Employer

Lakes FamiLy EyE CarE 218.346.3073

Evening and Saturday Appointments Available Optometrists

Dr. Corey Becker Dr. Kristen Schuchard Dr. Melissa McCulley

Wedde ConstruCtion, LLC

Provider for all major insurance companies

Industrial – Commercial Residential – Building Remodeling – Welding

235 West Main, Perham

44024 Cty Hwy 67 New York Mills 218-385-2880


Call 346-3073 for appointments Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 49



making its way to Perham by Trisha Marczak

Two thousand eleven was the year of the Big Mac in Perham – almost. McLease Corporation announced in September that Perham would become home to a McDonald's, though the timing of the opening wasn’t all too clear. Initially, Brian Weidendors, of McLease Corporation, said the hope was to begin construction in the fall

50 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

of 2011. If the company didn’t hit that mark, it would start in the spring of 2012, which is what is slated to begin now. At the time of the announcement, the company also said the McDonald's building, to be built between Dairy Queen and Jin Hu, would also


Years of Service


Years of Service

SignS PluS

Mills lanes & lucky strike Grill

Matt & Vick Olson

Owen and Dolly Tumberg

Signs • Decals • Designs • Silk Screened T-Shirts & Apparel

108 S. Main New York Mills

407 E Centennial Drive New York Mills 218-385-3691



Years of Service

TECTONIC WOODWORKING 640 3rd Street NE Perham 218-346-2331


Years of Service



43453 County Hwy 53 Perham


Lakes FamiLy eyecare

218-371-7073 Thomas House I 701 3rd Ave SW, Perham

Easy Payment Plan. No Interest. Call for details. EVENING & SATURDAY APPTS AVAILABLE

Thomas House II 738 3rd Ave SW, Perham

235 West Main Perham

Thomas House III 812 4th Ave SW, Perham




Years of Service


Custom WindoWs

“Thanks for your continued patronage!”

Free Estimates

25 Main Ave. N. New York Mills 218-385-3188

Lic. #TS01383

Years of Service

The Thomas houses

Years of Service

• Mosquito Control/Fertigation systeMs • Fall Winterizing • seasonal start-ups!

“You Dream It, We’ll Build It!” New Construction • Remodeling • Decks Rick Miller • Lic # BC-2023375


Years of Service

Licensed/Bonded/Insured Sales/Service • Free Estimates New Systems • Repair All Brands

Quality & Service at an affordable price! Call to find out about all our UNLIMITED services and our NEW line of water systems.

Showroom located at: 333 3rd Ave SE, Perham 218-758-3888 Dent 218-347-3888 Perham 877-201-4896 Toll Free Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 51

› DEVELOPMENT house another business – one that has not yet been identified by the company. Perham Economic Development Director Chuck Johnson said that, while there are rumors circulating, nothing has been given the go-ahead. The building is set to take up 4,200 square feet of space – 1,200 square feet of which will be occupied by the unknown business. While the identity of the business is not known, Weidendors said it will be another national chain. A McDonald's store built by McLease recently in Mora, Minn., houses a Verizon store. Perham already has two of those. In an interview in September, Weidendors said Perham was chosen as a location for the “small town retail project” for its available space near Highway 10. “It should be a good spot there and good access,” he said. Weidendors also said Perham fit the demographics of the “small town retail project” needs. The new McDonald's is expected to have two drive-through lanes and the new modern McDonald's design. The project was approved by the Perham City Council at its Sept. 12 meeting. ✱

52 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Perham fit the demographics of the 'small town retail project' needs. — Brian Weidendors, McLease Corporation


Years of Service


Years of Service

Tender hearTs home Care

Joe Foltz ConstruCtion inC.

Let us care for you

License #20637355

407 Carlund Parkway New York Mills

Perham 218-371-9229


218-385-3466 • 877-362-9784 Fax: 218-385-3583 •


Years of Service


Years of Service


Bongards’ Creameries

Your Hometown Bakery Doug & Vickie Hatten

“100 Years Celebrated in 2008”

107 West Main Perham

110 3rd Ave NE Perham




Years of Service

SnackS PluS Full Service Vending • Dan McKeever, owner 610 E. Main Perham 218-346-2985 Toll Free: 1-877-929-2100 Email:


Years of Service


Years of Service

LITTLE BEAR TOWING AND REPAIR Thanks to everyone for your support in the past few years. We look forward to serving the community in the future.

45465 445th St. Perham 218-346-5135 Cell: 218-640-0271


Years of Service

Red BaRn GReenhouse


49822 Co. Hwy 67 New York Mills

Located in Mills Office Center, New York Mills


Phone 218-385-2800 Fax 218-385-2824 Email:

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL GARBAGE & ROLL OFF SERVICE 240 6th Avenue NE, Perham, MN 56573 Phone: (218) 346-4834 Fax (218) 346-4799

Phone Television Internet Security Computer Repair

888.99.ARVIG | Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

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54 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive


Arvig sticks with

‘Arvig’ by Trisha Marczak

Arvig saw a banner year in 2011. Along with booming business, it also welcomed in another change: a new name. Previously known as Arvig Communication Systems and ACS, the company now just goes by Arvig – simple and to the point. Chief Operating Officer, David Arvig, said the decision to change the name came after the company consulted a firm specializing in branding. While the intent initially was to perhaps come up with a completely new name, the advice given was to stick with Arvig – and so it did. David Arvig said it made sense, considering the company’s origin (with his grandfather) and the familiarity of the name to existing customers. The family-owned company has grown from its humble beginnings as a television company in the 1950s. It’s expanded to include everything from high-speed internet connections and telephone services to underground cable construction – a business venture that just keeps growing.

On that end of the market, Arvig is making leaps and bounds. In 2011, the company continued working on a contract for construction in the Twin Cities area, a major boost for the yearly figures. In 2010, that same contract enabled Arvig to work on construction in the St. Cloud and Rochester areas. David said it was that expanded construction market, locally and regionally, that spurred the company to look for additional space for its construction division. The company

expect to see nicely lined Arvig vehicles and well-kept grounds. As the company moves forward, David said the business generated in 2011 was good. Faced with a telephone industry that’s ever dwindling, he said the company had to do something to keep up with business. While much of that revenue has been replaced by high-speed internet business, success in other areas has helped carry the company through. “We had a very good year,” he said.

The family-owned company has grown from its humble beginnings as a television company in the 1950s found that space in the old Phelps Motor location on Highway 80. Once complete, the location will become a base for heavy equipment mechanics. David said the goal is to keep the location looking spiffy. Residents can

Considering the year was so busy, David said employees stepped up to fill a growing workload – something he said contributed to the company’s success. ✱

Facing page: The Arvig Building in downtown Perham.

Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 55


Nick’s Bar and Grill a new Ottertail favorite by Heidi Kratzke unning a restaurant is a new gig for Nick Opatz. At the end of July, Opatz moved from the Valley City, ND area to Ottertail, where he opened Nick’s Bar and Grill. Less than a year into the business, Opatz is already pleased with his decision. He immediately thanked the local people, who he says have welcomed him and continue to faithfully frequent the restaurant. “We’ve met a lot of really nice and supportive people in this area and from surrounding towns,” Opatz said. People keep telling him how much they appreciate a good place to eat, and the variety he helps create for the area. Although business is running smoothly now, Opatz faced several difficulties when he was trying to open the restaurant last summer. He had hoped to open in time for the Fourth of July, but the state shutdown delayed his opening date. A lot of the area’s seasonal residents found out he was open right when they were closing their cabins for the winter months. Even with the extreme fluctuation in summer and winter residents, Opatz is glad he chose Ottertail as the location for his restaurant. He first became familiar with the area through vacationing at Sunset Bay Resort in Vergas. He sees the city of Ottertail as the center of the lakes area. Whether it’s swimming and boating in the summer, or ice fishing in the winter,

56 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

Nick Opatz, inside his new Ottertail restaurant, Nick’s Bar and Grill.



Years of Service


Years of Service

Hoot’s sports

New Construction • Remodeling • Cabins • Service Drain Cleaning • Water Heaters • Softeners

1000 East Main Perham

P.O. Box 322 Perham 218-346-5389 Randy Januszewski


Insured & Bonded, Master Plumber Lic #060559PM



Years of Service

Years of Service


Leaf RiveR eLectRic, LLc

Open Daily until 4 Open Friday & Saturday until 8

Commercial-ResidentialMechanical-Boomtruck-Trenching 25 years of experience Dean Goeller Master electrician Contractors #Ca06080 218-385-4130 Cell: 218-639-4636 110 leaf river road, Bluffton

Many things have things change, changed since some things Farmers & stay the Farmers & Merchants Merchants same: The first started friendly faces State Bank New York Mills serving the who are here to Since 1916 financial needs of help answer your our community in money questions; The 1916. And although dedication to support our local farmers, businesses and Do List consumers; And our desire to 2012 To A rement oney indeIR M t see NYM and the surrounding posit requi Pu um - No miniminteret rates - G reat res rds area grow and thrive! As E xpenditu de bit ca - Reduce nthly fee - No mooverdraft fees ing always, remember: nk - Low Ba ng ki nt ban on venie Internet - E asy Chr Telebanc & ho urs - 24 “We’re there with you ay mo rning - Satu rdatements ay. to get aw - E-St you need Relax! … every step of the , Relaxs, for vacations when - Relaxave rd ca ! l - Tr Your Home /Rem odupel fund loa ns ns way!” - BuildFH M A fixruction loa e const count! be rewa rded in - Low rat gs Actim e and ay Sa vin a - Holidve little at a - Sa ! No vember

PO Box 52 • Main Street Dent 218-758-9492



Years of Service


We’re there With you. . .every step of the Way! ADDRESS: 11 NORTH WALKER P O BOX 278 NEW YORK MILLS, MN 56567

PHONE NUMBERS: 218-385-2300 TELEPHONE 218-385-9303 FAX 800-469-0055 TELEBANC

BUSINESS HOURS LOBBY: 8:30am - 4:30pm M-F

WALKUP & DRIVEUP: 8am - 5pm M-F 8:30 - 11:30 am SAT

Years of Service


DuWayne Ditterich Tree & grass planting ~ CRP mowing Thistle spraying ~ Wildlife food plots

112 Judd Street Perham (Behind NAPA)

43693 Co. Hwy. 41 Vergas




Years of Service

the Pickle Factory Full Service Menu & Bar Service Check out our many retail items inc. pickled veggies, condiments, sauces, meats, sweets, jams & syrup!

Service & Repair • 24 Hour Towing

218-385-2785 We’re Pull’n For You

Enjoy Getting Pickled!

After Hours Call 218 639-8162

Cty. Hwy. 41 • Vergas 218-758-2619

20 Centennial Drive • New York Mills, MN 56567 Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 57


Nick Opatz, inside his new Ottertail restaurant, Nick’s Bar and Grill.

many of his customers come in hungry right off the lake. “Our biggest sellers are the broasted chicken and our homemade pizzas,” said Opatz. He mentioned how the chicken is never frozen, to preserve its fresh taste. Other menu options include wraps, appetizers, salads, and kids’ meals. A popular menu option is the ribs and shrimp special. This is available every day for $11.99. One of the best selling appetizers is appropriately named “tator nachos.” These crispy tator rounds are served on a pizza tray and topped with beef or chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cheddar cheese, black olives, and jalapenos. Salsa and sour cream are served on the side. All of the food at Nick’s can be ordered to-go. Opatz said he gets a lot of take out orders, and not just for pizza. Even the salads are routinely ordered to-go.

“A lot of people call on their way home and stop by and get them,” he reported. Opatz has planned several live music events that were well attended. He’s looking forward to bringing in more bands and even holding a few meat raffles. The restaurant is also available for group events such as

58 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

birthday parties. Winter hours at Nick’s Bar and Grill are 4 p.m. – 1 a.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. – 1 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. The restaurant is located in the former CJ’s Pizza building at 235 West Main Street in Ottertail. To place a take out order, call 218-367-3637. ✱


Years of Service

EAgEr BEAvEr TrEE SErvicE Fully Insured 36500 Cty. Hwy. 67 New York Mills 218-385-3420


Years of Service

Certified Auto repAir 300 Township Parkway (Industrial Park) New York Mills 218-385-4488 Aaron & Lindsay Tibbetts, owners


Years of Service

Mark’s Fleet supply 945 Market Street Perham 218-346-6275


Years of Service

Schmitz motorS 900 West Main Street Perham


Years of Service

StitcheS By Schmitz’S Custom Rug Binding Mike & Diane Schmitz 45311 455th Avenue Perham


Years of Service

43606 Mosquito Heights Rd. Perham

Complete One Year Labor Warranty on products purchased & installed by us.


You have family with us. Serving Central Minnesota

Mike’s Plumbing & Heating

Mosquito trap store

Serving the area since 1920

Lake Country Home Care, LLC

300 Township Pkwy (Industrial Park) New York Mills Aaron & Lindsay Tibbetts

Armstrong Gas & Oil Furnaces for Years of Comfort & Value

218-215-4496 Toll Free: 888-526-9407


4 Tune ups 4 Remote starters 4 A/C 4 Transmission work 4 Towing



Years of Service

4 All major and minor repairs 4 Tires 4 Oil changes 4 Electrical


Years of Service

Hoot ‘N Holler SalooN

We offer worry free seasonal maintenance! Call us for FREE ESTIMATES on plumbing, heating and air conditioning!

Mike and Brenda Niemela New York Mills, MN 385-3345

211 West Main Street Ottertail

95 Miller St New York Mills



Try Our ChiCken, ribS & OniOn ringS! Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 59


Rachel Tumberg, left, and Linda Yager, inside their shop, In With the Old, Inc. The mother-daughter team has had a successful first year of business, and will be moving into a larger location in downtown Perham by February.

‘Wait, don’t throw that out!’ Mother-daughter team finds success and delight in making the old, new again by Marie Nitke

60 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

› DEVELOPMENT hey call themselves “the local ‘American Pickers.’” Like the stars of that popular History Channel series, Linda Yager and Rachel Tumberg make a living by rummaging through dusty old barns, garage sales, auctions and estate sales, searching for unique relics and furniture – items they can

certain style that shoppers go crazy for. Linda has been refurbishing in this way for about 12 years, selling her work at area craft shows. After Rachel moved to Perham in 2001, she became more involved in the business. The two really enjoyed working

Since things are going so well, said Linda, their business plan for the future is simply to, "keep going for it!" transform from one person’s trash into another person’s treasure. The things they dig up could easily be tossed out as junk, but this gifted mother-daughter team recognizes the potential in that curvy old wooden chair, or that wobbly table you begrudgingly inherited from greatgrandma. With an eye for detail and a generous use of fun, funky color, Linda and Rachel scrub, sand and paint those old furnishings back from the neardead, breathing fresh new life into them. While every piece they repurpose is one-of-a-kind, the end result of their work is always the same: cheerful antique and retro pieces with a


Years of Service

together, and within a matter of years, they had built up enough inventory to stock an entire store. So, that’s just what they did. In March, Rachel and Linda opened In With the Old (a third partner involved at the time of opening is no longer with the business). The store sells what its business cards cutely explain as, “A medley of hodgepodge for the home.” From corner to corner, piled from floor to ceiling, is evidence of their labors of love: wooden tables, chairs, shelves, kitchenware, antiques and home décor. It’s all arranged by color – bright red and pink in one corner, yellows in another, lime green in between, and so on through every color


Years of Service

of the rainbow. With less than a year of business behind them, the women have already outgrown their current location on Main Street. People have been so receptive to their products, they said, that it’s become necessary to move to a bigger space. They plan to be moved into their new location downtown by the end of January. “I don’t think we could have asked for a better opening year,” said Rachel. “It’s been awesome.” Especially over the summer, Linda said, sales have been high, but things have stayed unpredictably busy even into the winter months. Other local business owners, she said, have shown particularly strong and loyal support, coming in regularly to buy things from the shop. “It amazes me, all the locals that are in here,” Rachel added. Once In With the Old opens at its new location, Linda and Rachel plan to have more consignment items for sale. For example, Candace Hennager, of New York Mills, will be selling her unique brand of potpourri, lotions and hand sanitizers, while other local artisans will sell potholders, dishtowels, and handmade bird feeders. Since things are going so well, said Linda, their business plan for the future is simply to, “keep going for it!” ✱


Year of Service

Schik EnginEEring, LLc

Canvas Work InC.

Keith hepola’s Computer help

PO Box 158 95 Miller Street Suite C New York Mills

305 Bach Avenue New York Mills

Friendly help with your computer or home network



218-385-2044 Fax: 218-385-2048


Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 61


...even more new developments » In February, Kellie Dodd opened With

Love Floral in Perham. The store offers floral design, fresh flowers, jewelry and pottery.

» Hoaby Computer Service and Repair

opened in New York Mills. Owner Josh Hoaby has more than 12 years of experience as a computer technician. His new business offers on-site and in-shop technological assistance to both businesses and individuals.

» Promenade Ballroom danced into Per-

» Healthy Eats and Body Treats opened in the Blue Sky Building in

Perham in May. For $6, customers can get a healthy shake and tea. The low-calorie, high-protein options come in 54 different flavors, including cookies ‘n cream and fruit passion. The business is owned by Jessica Wittich.

ham in March, offering couples lessons in swing, country western, Latin and ballroom dance. Classes are held mostly in the afternoon and evenings, led by owner Paul Mathieu, who has more than 20 years of experience in dance instruction.

» Homark Homes took over the old Hill-

top Homes building in New York Mills in August. Homark specializes in modular, manufactured homes, both singlewide and doublewide in many different designs.

» Fly-fishing

enthusiasts got a new resource in Perham in May, with the opening of Front 20 Outfitters fly shop. Although Front 20 Outfitters had been in business since 2007 as a trout fishing service, owners Doug and Roxanne Harthan expanded the store to include the fly shop. They also offer full and half-day fishing trips.

62 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive


Year of Service



Homark Homes

Offered by 1105 Market

Building Your Dreams, Your Way

159 1st Avenue South Perham

Hwy. 10 West New York Mills


218-385-2330 TOLL FREE: 1-888-676-1555



• Oil Changes • Auto Tune Ups • Tires & Tire Rotation

• Exceptional Customer Service • Auto Parts & Accessories • Same Day Service

& Service center Get The Good Stuff & The Good Service.

218.346.7557 TOLL FREE: 877.346.7557 105 Jake Street SE, Perham, MN 56573

Insurance for whatever crops up

Call today to subsCribe!

109 Coney Street West Perham, MN 56573

346-7290 • 1-800-582-7290 222 Second Avenue SE | Perham, MN 56573 | 346.5900

Serving the community since 1992. Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» 63


...even more new developments » Visitors to the

Station House Restaurant in Perham noticed a new addition – the Brew Pub and Wine Bar. The bar opened in the back of the building, under the ownership of newcomers Alex Belquist and Britt Nelson. The bar offers tap and bottled beers, wine, Frenchpressed coffee and tea, and a full liquor selection.

» Robby Rae of Dent started operating his computer repair busi- » Rachel Wiser, who had worked for nine years as a cosmetoloness, Computer Monkey, out of Café le Fleur in Perham on Wednesdays (the café has some of the fastest wireless internet service in town). Rae offers virus protection installation, computer detailing and other services, and also makes house calls.

gist in the Twin Cities, moved with her family back to Perham to open Twisted Root Salon and Spa. The salon offers facials, electrolysis, hair services, pedicures, manicures and more.

» The Work Connection landed in Perham in April, connecting

than, moved their Virtual Pink Sister Assistants office to Perham. The company designs and prints monthly unit newsletters, thank-you cards, reminder postcards, scratch and win games and more for Mary Kay directors. They serve more than 100 clients from across the nation.

businesses with qualified job seekers. Positions available through the company vary depending on clients, but typically include manufacturing and office-related work.

» Not just one, but two new Verizon Wireless stores opened in

Perham. A Verizon Wireless premium retailer, operated under Z Wireless, opened in January in the Blue Sky Mall under the management of Erin Holtberg. Another Verizon Wireless store, operated through Arvig, opened on Main Street in June.

64 » Progress 2012: Accentuating the Positive

» Mother and daughter team, Laura Richter and Roxanne Har-

» In January 2012, it was announced that the Perham Pamida would become a Shopko, probably within the second half of the year.

New York Mills M I N N E S O T A Independent School District #553 New York Mills Public School District 553 P.O. Box 218 • New York Mills, MN 56567

ince 1874, the New York Mills School District has offered S quality education from Early Childhood through 12th grade to the roughly 3,400 residents who live within the District. Thanks

to the community support in NY Mills, the District continues to expand in their technology, fine art opportunities and classroom enhancements. Thanks to the voter approved levy of $75 per pupil last November, NY Mills District has $50,000 per year for the next four years to invest in technology. Since then, the District has begun making improvements on the technology infrastructure including schoolwide WiFi. The New York Mills High School Band will have an opportunity to play in the National Independence Day Parade this summer in Washington, D.C. Many community-wide preparations have been put in motion, including a $10,000 fundraiser to replace the 20-year-old uniforms and equipment. Daily community volunteers have increased by 50 percent this school year, which doesn’t include the 200-plus volunteers that helped pull off the first-ever elementary carnival. Over 800 people enjoyed the festivities that November evening, bringing in over $10,000 to be used on elementary classroom enhancements.

Mission Statement The purpose of the educational services offered by the New York Mills School District is to educate students in the acquisition of knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes toward self and others that will enable them to solve problems, think creatively, continue to learn, and develop maximum potential for learning in our ever-changing society.

“Preparing Students for Life” New York Mills Public Schools take pride in their traditions. Excellence in academics, athletics and the arts is what sets us apart as an educational leader. We are proud of the accomplishments of our students. Their dedication to excel is a perfect example of the exemplary will and pride that is shown in our schools everyday.

Experienced Surgeon. Talented Team. Professional. Respected. Compassionate.


Health It’s about ...

Talented Team. David Kloss, M.D.

Thomas Van Bruggen, M.D.

Tri-County Health Care welcomes Dr. David Kloss as its newest surgeon. Board certified in general surgery, Dr. Kloss earned his medical degree from Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania and completed his general surgery residency at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City, New York. Dr. Kloss’s undergraduate education started at the University of Rochester with an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Kloss is a military veteran, having proudly served in the U.S. Air Force. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife, Meredith, and four children. His interests include the Boy Scouts of America, marathon running, golfing, hunting and photography. Dr. Kloss joins Dr. Tom VanBruggen and the experienced and talented surgery staff at Tri-County Health Care.

“Together, I believe that we’ll be able to do great things for our patients, our communities and Tri-County Health Care.” — Dr. David Kloss

Tri-County Health Care With Clinics in: Bertha, Henning, Ottertail, Sebeka, Wadena

415 Jefferson Street North Wadena, MN 56482

218-631-3510 or 1-800-631-1811

Progress Guide  
Progress Guide  

Perham, MN