Page 1

2019 S pring H OM E

I MP ROV E M ENT Bread Crumb Properties revamps houses,

See 4-8

Carrie Roske uses her design skills,

See 9-13

Building project help,

See 2, 15 HRA project, See 14

A S U P P L E M E N T T O T H E S T E V E N S C O U N T Y T I M E S , A P R I L 2 7, 2 0 1 9

Spring Home Improvement

2 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

The Stevens County Times

Project may require a building permit By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Before adding that deck or building a shed, check with the city to learn if you need a building permit. In Hancock permits are required for any new constructions or construction attached to an existing structure, city clerk Jodi Bedel said. Permits are needed for garages, houses, decks, and permanent sheds.

The requirement is similar in the city of Morris, said the city’s building inspector Mike Jacobson. A building permit in Hancock costs $20. The permit in Morris is about 1% of the total project costs. For example, the building permit cost for a $200,000 home would be $2,000, Jacobson said. The city of Morris charges $35 for a maintenance building permit that covers work such as

siding, shingles and new windows. “Let’s not make it expensive for people to maintain their homes,” Jacobson said of the reasoning behind a $35 maintenance building permit. Bedel said the city of Hancock set its building permit at $20 “because we want to encourage people to build…” Jacobson tracks the permits in Morris while Bedel and other city offi-

cials will track them for Hancock. “What we do is follow-up to make sure they followed the permit for what they applied for and didn’t change it…,” Bedel said. The city works with its assessor Don Metz to make sure the permit projects are assessed on the tax rolls. “It’s important to have the permits submitted,” Bedel said, because the projects have an impact

on tax revenue the city receives. Bedel said she may notice a project that hasn’t received a permit during a drive around town. Those people are then contacted about a permit. Morris doesn’t require permits for projects “that don’t mess with the structure,” Jacobson said. Projects such as replacing a bathroom vanity and painting or replacing kitchen cabinets don’t

require a permit in Morris, he said. “In my world that’s just freshening up…,” Jacobson said. When projects that require permits are completed, Jacobon will be there to inspect them. He’s also available to ask questions during the building process. Jacobson does not inspect electrical work because that’s handled by the Minnesota State Electrical Association.

Ask the building expert Morris inspector Jacobson said he fields many questions on construction projects

Metro Graphic photo

A hired project or a do-it-yourself project can create questions. Morris building inspector Mike Jacobson said he will answer a variety of questions on building projects.



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By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Morris building inspector Mike Jacobson said he wants people to contact him before they start planning their possible new construction or home improvement project. “I get dozens of calls every day,” Jacobson said. “We do a lot of education and give advice and help to homeowners who are working on a house.” Jacobson will take calls about whether or not someone needs a building permit or if someone has a zoning questions. He will also take calls if someone has questions about their project. To reach Jacobson, contact the city of Morris at 320589-3141 and the city can provide his contact phone number. “I will look at their project and visit with them,” Jacobson said. He works with do-it-yourselfers and with contractors. His advice to all, “Get an idea of what you will be spending before you

tear apart walls,” Jacobson said. “You need to figure out a budget.” Often, a homeowner will expect to pay for a project “from their checkbook,” but more often that isn’t the case when the project gets started, Jacobson said. “Once you start tearing things apart, now, you may need to upgrade your wiring...and you can spend several thousand dollars quickly,” Jacobson said.

of his job is to make sure the project gets done right which means the homeowner gets what he wants in the project. Getting it right can require him to evaluate the age of a home. A house built in the 1920s or 1930s can present challenges to a contractor or homeowner, Jacobson said. There are circumstances when what needs to be done in the house won’t fully meet all state build-

We do a lot of education and give advice and help to homeowners who are working on a house. MIKE JACOBSON Jacobson will also help review designs made by the homeowner or a contractor or lumberyard. “Just yesterday, I met with a guy who was going to put up another garage,” Jacobson said. Jacobson evaluated the lot and the homeowner’s plans. “We ended the conversation with me saying ‘Why don’t you add it on (to the house),” he said. The homeowner said he didn’t think he’d be able to add on the existing structure. Jacobson said a big part

ing codes, he said. “We get it as close to building code as possible without tearing the whole house apart,” Jacobson said. One of the other pieces to getting a project done right is to protect the homeowner from a contractor’s shoddy work. When a hailstorm hit Morris a few years ago, several hundred homes needed to replace their roofs because of hail damage. Those situations can attract contractors from miles away who do shoddy work, Jacobson said.

“We do background checks on those companies,” Jacobson said. Jacobson worked on behalf of the city, homeowners and cooperating insurance companies to make sure homeowners were protected. Many insurance companies said they wouldn’t pay for the roof repair until it was inspected by Jacobson. He recalled having to require contractors to re-do roofs in two cases during that hail damage season. Jacobson worked in construction before becoming a building inspector about 15 years ago. He’s one of the few in the region. “There’s a huge shortage of building inspectors out there,” Jacobson said. He serves as the building inspector for at least 10 towns including Morris, Benson, Appleton and others. He inspects houses and related projects but also inspects hospitals, nursing homes and schools. Besides not inspecting electrical work, “The only thing I don’t do is when you buy a house, I don’t do that inspection,” Jacobson said. There are other inspectors who do home inspections for sellers and buyers.

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Spring Home Improvement

4 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

The Stevens County Times Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Barbara Clauson and Chad Frappier revamp houses in the area. The couple judges each project by whether or not they'd live in it.


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Couple revamps houses in the region



notches on the bedroom doorway (marking a The house may have child’s growth). We see peeling exterior paint ‘this is where someor worn and tired floors body’s life happened,’” in the interior but Chad Frappier said. So, when they buy a Frappier and Barbara Clauson see more house to revamp, Frappier and Clauson are than that. Instead, the couple looking to honor the sees a life well-lived in life of the house and the qualities that make it the house. “When we walk different from the other through a house we look houses on the block, in for scratches in the floor, town or in the region. By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

You can also bring in your demo, tree branches, and grass clippings to the Stevens County Demolition n site, Hwy 9 South, Morris.


The couple established Bread Crumb Properties LLC four years ago. The couple started by revamping a house but it wasn’t the first one they completed. An interested couple needed another house quickly so they completed remodeling the rental on an intense schedule. And like breadcrumbs dropped to create signs on a path, other houses

began to drop into the couple’s view. The couple has completed a house in Graceville, has almost completed a house in Wheaton, is working on a second house in Graceville and nearly finished with a Chokio house that they live in. The couple also has a completed house on Pomme de Terre or Perkins Lake.


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Spring Home Improvement

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Clauson and Frappier both have full time jobs so the remodeling work is done at night or on weekends. They’ve been able to retain woodwork and flooring in some of the homes as well as some features such as lights and a built-in hutch. “If what you have is a Chevy Impala, you are not going to turn it into a Cadillac. But you can still make that Chevy Impala really nice,” Frappier said. “We don’t want to turn (a house) into something that it’s not.” Honoring the history and look of the house is important but “it has to live current,” Clauson said. Take the house in Chokio, for example. The couple retained and restored the mistmatched wood floors of oak in one room and maple in another and pine in the upper story loft. But, knowing that they and other people like an open floor plan in the kitchen and dining area, they removed a wall in the kitchen. Frappier said the wall wasn’t attached and was not load bearing. When the plaster was stripped from it, he could have pushed it over. They determined the Chokio house had been a do-it-yourself project for prior owners. When wood for the floor was needed for a portion of the upper loft, whoever was living in the house just found another type of wood to use. The house had a built-in linen cabinet that was built from a chicken coop. Frappier removed the cabinet but the mismatched floor in the loft stayed. That upper loft was little more then a cold storage area. Now, it

has a full bedroom and will have sidewall storage compartments with doors. The walls have a grainary tin-type wainscoating. One of the criteria of choosing a house is noticing the possibilities. “We can walk into a house and know ‘Oh goodness that wall needs to go…,’” Clauson said. “I think what’s even more rare is we talk in shorthand,” Frappier said. He may start a sentence about floors and Clauson will finish it and it makes sense to both. “We’re seeing it done before we pull it apart,” Frappier said.

We do this on a budget. Even if we could spend the money, we probably wouldn’t because of our upbringing. BARBARA CLAUSON, of Bread Crumb Properties “That’s the fun of it,” Clauson said. They bring their separate skills to each project. “I’m the builder,” Frappier said. He has a background in construction. “Barbara’s gotten to be a very good painter.” Clauson can also help install drywall and do other remodeling work. “I can build it if she can explain what she wants,” Frappier said of how their two skills mesh. While having skills and an eye for the history and needed touches to a house are important so is following a budget. “We do this on a budget,” Clauson said. “Even if we could spend the money, we probably wouldn’t because of our upbringing.” Clauson and Frappier were raised in small towns in families with strong work ethics. Frappier grew up on a farm in North Dakota. Clauson grew up with a family well drilling business near Hadley.

Submitted photos

(Top) This is the kitchen and dining area of the house in Chokio. Frappier and Clauson removed a wall to open the kitchen and open the stairway on the right. (Bottom) The kitchen and dining area of the house in Chokio after the area was remodeled. An island and open area is located where the wall once was.

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If what you have is a Chevy Impala, you are not going to turn BREAD CRUMB: Page 7 it into a Cadillac. But you can still make that Chevy Impala really nice, CHAD FRAPPIER, of Bread Crumb Properties


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Have you recently renovated your home or built a new home? Would you like to have your work featured in the fall edition of the Home Improvement guide? The fall Home Improvement issue will be published in September. Let us know NOW if you are willing to be included! Contact the Stevens County Times at 888-589-2525 or by email

6 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Spring Home Improvement

The Stevens County Times

Submitted photos

The Bread Crumb house in Wheaton. The loft of the Chokio house before Bread Crumb renovated it. The Chokio house loft after the couple re-did it. The walls have a granary-style tin on the sides. The couple also revamped the floor.

The Stevens County Times 

Spring Home Improvement

Saturday, April 27, 2019 7

Submitted photo

Submitted photo

The exterior of the Chokio house when Bread Crumb bought it.

The exterior of the Chokio house after Frappier and Clauson re-did it.


“You should see the house in Graceville,” Chokio neighbor Sharon Henrichs said of one of Bread Crumb Properties’ homes.

house that hasn’t been touched since the 1950s. From Page 5 But the time, money and effort invested in such Buying a house to a house is worth it, the remodel and renovate couple said. “We’d live in all of in a small town such as Graceville may mean them,” Clauson said. “That’s one of our cribuying a 100-year-old

teria,” Frappier said. And they do live in one of their projects in Chokio. “They are just like miracle workers,” Chokio neighbor Barb Spaulding said of Clauson and Frappier.

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8 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Spring Home Improvement

The Stevens County Times

Submitted photo

The exterior of the one of the Bread Crumb houses in Graceville. Frappier and Clauson look at the whole house including the structure, exterior and interior before determining if it will fit their budget and goals. The interior of a completed project at a house in Graceville.

Submitted photo

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Spring Home Improvement

The Stevens County Times 

Saturday, April 27, 2019 9

I like working with my hands and to create things. I like to be able to do it myself. CARRIE ROSKE

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By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

first but will ask for help when she needs it. Roske started FreckA few things to know about Carrie Roske. She led Designs in 2015. She likes working with her designs signs for cushands, she is creative and tom orders and to sell she’d like to do it herself on her Etsy site. Etsy is

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ROSKE: Page 11

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Spring Home Improvement

10 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

The Stevens County Times

Photos by Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Carrie Roske used an open design concept in her home. This is the kitchen, dining and living area on the main floor. The space features windows with a view of her backyard. The table Carrie Roske made in her dining area. 001565656r1

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One project combined all of Roske’s interests and From Page 9 skills into a couple-thousand- square foot house Roske also teaches cre- near the Pomme de Terre ative classes for those River just off U.S. Highwho want to paint designs way 59 north of Morris. Roske started building on door mats. She also her own home about two alters clothing. And she’s years ago. She has not started making furniture. “I like working with yet completed each part my hands and to create which include an unfinthings. I like to be able to ished basement and some do it myself,” Roske said. finishing touches with

decorating. But the heart of the house is complete with mostly white walls and laminate flooring that resembles wood throughout much of the main floor. Roske also takes advantage of several acres including a backyard that overlooks a river valley with large windows in the living room and kitchen/ dining area and two main floor bedrooms.

I’m always trying to (think of) the next thing. CARRIE ROSKE, of Freckled Designs

Saturday, April 27, 2019 11

“Once I decided to build, it was not scary, it was exciting,” Roske said. Roske did hire a contractor to handle various aspects of the build but she contributed much to the design. “I like the open design concept,” Roske said. The living room and kitchen/dining space flow into each other. Although a

sewing room has two large barn type doors that close, those are usually open to the living room. She recently finished an entry area with shiplap, some coat hooks and a sign she made. There are other signs that Roske lives in this house. Her walls include signs she made with various sayings.

ROSKE: Page 13

Photos by Rae Yost /Stevens County Times

One of Carrie Roske’s signs. The basement stairway in a home built by Carrie Roske.



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Photos by Rae Yost /Stevens County Times

The sewing room in Carrie Roske's house. The room opens to her living room. The stairway to the basement features cable. Several signs were ready to be mailed inside Carrie Roske’s home.


12 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

The Stevens County Times

Spring Home Improvement

The Stevens County Times 

ROSKE From Page 11

Several signs ready to be sent to customers sit against the wall in hallway that leads to the basement, the laundry room and a garage door. Roske said since she started her Etsy site in 2017, she has sold her work to customers in 31 different states and three different countries. Her next big step will come May 1 when she plans to launch her own website and blog. The blog may include do-it-yourself tips, design tips and other topics but Roske said she hasn’t fully determined the subject matter. Although she’s been successful with her signs and doormats, Roske said she is always thinking, always creating. “I’m always trying to (think of) the next thing,” Roske said. She’s willing to try and paint on different materials including wood. Right now, farm and rustic styles are popular, Roske said. Trying new things means challenging herself as she did with the wooden dining room table she made. Roske said she had some help from her dad but she’s pretty proud to have built the table that comfortably seats six. Her dad has helped in other ways including allowing Roske to snag some tools from his garage when she first started Freckled Designs. “I started off hand sanding,” she said. “Then, I invested in an electric sander. I also got some random tools from my dad’s garage.” She has her own shop now. “A microsaw was the first saw I bought….,” Roske said. She built up her tools from there. “What you see in the shop now, everything, I was able to buy because of my Freckled Designs,” Roske said. The shop wasn’t part of her original house

Saturday, April 27, 2019 13

plan. “It was a happy accident,” Roske said of the shop. She looked at her design and realized her roof line would cast a shadow on an 18-by20 foot patch of grass. “‘Let’s close that up,’” Roske said she suggested to the contractor. Now, she has a shop that is attached to the garage. Roske said she’s fortunate to work a seasonal job with Riley Brothers Construction so she has winters to work on Freckled Designs. She wants that to change some day. “It’s the goal to have Freckled Designs be full time,” she said as a smile filled her face.

Photos by Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

The entry at Carrie Roske’s front door. Carrie Roske incorporates her signs and her love of plants in her decorating. This is one decorative touch in a guest bathroom.

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14 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Spring Home Improvement

The Stevens County Times

HRA program targets rental housing rehabilitation By Rae Yost Stevens County Times

houses in need of some rehabilitation are ignored, When 30% of the single the value of those houses family homes in the city will decrease, Fohl said. If of Morris are rental prop- the value of rental houserties, improvements es decreases so does the made to those properties value of owner occupied make an impact on all homes, she said. Landlords are expectproperties, said Melanie ed to cover 30% of the Fohl, the director of the cost of the rehabilitation. Stevens County Housing They can also get up to Authority. $25,000 in a DEED loan “That’s a huge porforgiven if they meet certion of our community tain criteria, Fohl said. that’s rental property,” Maintaining rental Fohl said. property can be expenFohl said much of sive, so landlords may that single family rentnot be able to make all al housing is aging. “If the needed improvewe don’t do (rehabilments, Fohl said. itation), it will become “We get calls from irreversible,” Fohl said neighbors of rental propof the need to care for erty who wish (HRA) rental housing. could do something,” The city of Morris has Fohl said. received $375,000 in a Although Morris has a Department of Employ- number of University of ment and Economic Minnesota Morris stuDevelopment grant to dents who rent houses, provide deferred loans because of income guideto qualified landlords lines, those houses would to improve their single likely not qualify for family rental houses. rehabilitation program, CTIONS attached email The DEED Please loan read rehaFohl said. bilitation program will These are rental houses help eligible landlords occupied by individuals, make needed improve- families or elderly, Fohl ments which can free up said. money for landlords to do If the landlord continexterior painting or other ues to own the property property improvements, and meet other criteria Fohl said. for five years, the loan is If single family rental forgiven, Fohl said. The

other criteria includes renting the property at a fair market rent as determined by the federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Fohl said. The rehabilitation loan program will pay for 70% of the total cost of the rehabilitation, Fohl said. “The first thing we do is address the health and safety needs,” said Bob Staples, a construction manager with the HRA. Many older rental homes will have lead paint issues and the paint will need to be removed, Staples said. “We run into aesbestos in some older heating systems,” Staples said. “We also see knob and tube wiring that will have to be upgraded.” “Right there, those things start chewing into (loan) money right away,” Staples said. Fortunately, something good came from a hailstorm in Morris several years ago. The hail damaged many roofs so many of the roofs on quali-

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HRA map

This is a map of the main target area and the alternate area for a rental rehabilitation project in Morris coordinated by the Stevens County HRA. fied rental houses were replaced after that storm, Staples said. The landlord may be able access other programs such as weatherization program money to upgrade heating and cooling systems, Staples

and Fohl said. Windows and siding could also be replaced. As of early April, applications have been received for six properties. The HRA identified 41 eligible properties in the target area near West

8th Street and Lyndale Avenue The program can complete 15 projects and if 15 projects are not completed in the main target area, rental houses in the second target area can be considered, Fohl said.

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Saturday, April 27, 2019 15

Morris stores say they are ready for do-it-yourselfers By Rae Yost Stevens County Times Doing it yourself doesn’t mean without help. Local hardware and lumberyards have been helping do-it-yourselfers for many years. The help includes renting them tools to even completing some small projects such as making screens for windows. “We help people everyday,” said Kathy Bouta of Eul’s Hardware Hank. As to how many people want help, “I think it’s steady,” said Joe Peterson of Ace Hardware. Bryan Asleson of Morris Lumber and Millwork said the questions do-it-yourselfers have are vaired but many seem to have one main question. “Mainly what type of material to use in certain situations,” Asleson said. Lots of people search the internet for information about a project and then, come into the store with a list of what they need, Bouta said. It’s a mix at Town and Country, Kurt Domnick said. Some people do lots of research while others “might bring in old parts and say they need to re-create this.” “I think a lot know what they want to do typically and we are happy to help them set up the project and go through the steps with them,” Peterson said. Asleson said the type of do-it-yourself project ranges from a $20 project to a $300,000 house. Morris Lumber has a design team that can help design kitchen remodels and others. A do-it-yourself project can be intimidating for some. Asleson

said some less skilled do-it-yourselfers can start with a small project such as building a shelf. “We can walk them through that,” Asleson said. “We can go as far as cutting the board, give them the right screws, fasteners and brackets.” Some changes in the parts needed for projects have made it easier for people to do it themselves. Domnick said an example of user friendly change is a plumbing fitting called Shark Bite. Shark Bite is a push fitting connection. “People don’t feel as intimidated with connections,” he said. Peterson said his store gets questions about lawn and garden maintenance such as fertilizer use and procedures for weed and feed. Domnick said his store also gets lawn and garden questions. When a person wants to do a project them-

selves, they may not have the needed tools. Peterson said Ace’s rental department is designed to carry tools that people may not frequently need so it doesn’t make sense to own it. Take concrete work, for example, Peterson said. Ace has a jackhammer and concrete equipment that people can rent for a concrete project. Ace also rents a halfinch angle drill that can be used for floor joices and similar work and it rents floor sanders, lawn and garden equipment such as tillers and other items. A tool growing in popularity is the log splitter, Peterson said. Eul’s rents small tools such as drills, Bouta said. When customers have questions about do-it-yourself projects, how do the stores know what to answer. Bouta said it comes to years of experience. Asleson said many employees

at Morris Lumber have experience in construction. Domnick said in addition to experience, employees also train through True Valu. Peterson said when they can’t answer the question or need additional information, the store can contact a professional to get the answer. While there are contractors in the area to do many projects, there is still a shortage of construction workers, the store representatives said. Many contractors are busy which has

prompted some people to do project themselves, the store representatives said. And there is still room

for the local hardware store to repair screens or a piece of sheet metal to fix a roof, which is still done at Eul’s.






McGinnis Appliance Heating & Cooling

Bankord’s Electric, LLC

Affordable Floor Coverings 103 East 5th St, Starbuck 320-239-2136

601 Atlantic Ave., Morris 320-589-3933

Building Materials

We Get Real Estate!

320-589-2159 I

If the grass is greener on the other side... your neighbor shopped at Morris Coop! • Grass Seed • Weed & Feed • Crabgrass Control Fertilizer • Garden Fertilizer 19-19-20 • Lawn Fertilizer 26-0-12-6

Push & Pull Type Spreaders Available! We also carry a variety of Bird Seed!

Hoffman Building Systems

111 1st St. North, Hoffman 320-986-6288

Hooter’s Lumber, Inc. 61904 State Hwy 28, Chokio 320-324-7171

Morris Lumber & Millwork 49110 State Hwy 28, Morris 320-589-2331

Concrete Construction Raths Brothers Construction Morris 320-585-5112 320-585-6029

Construction KJH Builders, Inc. 26688 425th Ave., Hancock 320-392-5237

Demo/Disposal Engebretson & Sons Disposal South Hwy 9, Morris 320-589-3804

Located at the Main Station

Rae Yost/Stevens County Times

Equipment such as a stump grinder, left, and a tiller, are among those rented by Ace Hardware in Morris. Several other stores also rent items, but those are mostly small tools.

Morris Coop

Monday-Friday 6am-6pm Saturday 6am-1pm

1000 Atlantic Ave., Morris | 320-589-4744 |

44741 265th St., Hancock 320-287-0976

Daly Electric, Inc. 45587 230th St., Morris 320-589-7191

Messner Electric, Inc.

38424 County Rd 2, Hancock 320-392-5496

Wehking Electric, Inc. 48501 250th St., Morris 320-589-8898

Electric Service Agralite Electric Cooperative 320 Hwy. 12 East, Benson 320-843-4150

Creative Coatings Cyrus 320-808-3284

Hometown Flooring & Blinds, LLC 583 6th St., Hancock 320-392-5900

Landscaping Rollie Henrichs Morris 320-589-1257 320-287-1581

Otter Tail Power Co.


28 E. 6th St., Morris 320-589-3434

710 Atlantic Avenue, Morris 320-589-3822

Excavation Riley Brothers Construction, Inc. 46369 208th St., Morris 320-589-2500

Financing Bank of the West 214 Atlantic Ave., Morris 320-589-4433

Ace Hardware

Town & Country Supply 900 Atlantic Ave., Morris 320-589-1922

Plumbing & Heating Mohr Plumbing & Heating 46400 East Hwy 28, Morris 320-589-1006

Community Development Bank


570 6th St., Hancock 320-392-5278

Conroy Well Drilling

Dacotah Bank

4 South Atlantic Ave., Morris 320-589-3361


605 6 ½ St., Hancock 320-392-5662

16 Saturday, April 27, 2019 

The Stevens County Times

Profile for Stevens County Times

Spring Home Improvement 2019  

A special publication focused on home and yard improvements and new home construction.

Spring Home Improvement 2019  

A special publication focused on home and yard improvements and new home construction.