By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Reflecting on the last year, Dassel saw its fair share of growth as it welcomed several new businesses to town and witnessed the expansion of others.
In addition, the city had a total of 67 residential and commercial permits for a total of $788,025 in new valuation. This was a slight decrease from 2011 when there were 92 permits issued and $890,658 in new valuation.
Early in the year, the city worked in collaboration with ProWorks on the concept of a thrift store, which resulted in Again & Again Thrift Store located next to the municipal liquor store on Highway 12.
The thrift store financially benefits the non-profit’s habilitative program that has a facility in Dassel, and the city benefits by leasing the space.
Dale Miller of ProWorks said the store has been a big success, with sales averaging $333 a day. On Black Friday, the store had more than $500 in sales, he noted.
Other highlights in 2012
City Clerk/Treasurer Terri Boese highlighted some of the other positive changes that took place in Dassel throughout 2012. They include:
• Casey’s General Store offered new construction and a new business with its Highway 12 location, which opened in October.
• JM Cremps expanded by moving its retail business into the vacant building on Highway 12, which once housed the Old Depot Railroad Museum.
• Spectralytics expanded, which included the purchase of the Fulfillment Systems building on the south end of Industrial Park.
• Neuberger’s Hockey Shop came to town and took up shop in the vacant building across from the fire hall.
• Lily Bea, a vintage boutique, joined the occasional store movement in Dassel. The store also filled an empty building on Third Street.
• The county deeded property to the city in the tax-forfieted development of Summit Hills. The city will use it for future park development.
• The city contracted for a new website in conjunction with the Dassel Area Historical Society and Dassel Area Chamber of Commerce. The site is more user-friendly and attractive to newcomers and visitors.
• Receiving an anonymous $30,000 donation for a new scoreboard at the Dassel Ball Park.
On the horizon for 2013
Because the city doesn’t have the infrastructure or financial means to expand industrial park, Mayor Jeff Putnam wants to focus on filling the empty buildings around town. He wants to “make what we have stronger,” Putnam said.
The city is working on necessary infrastructure upgrades, which is the major project for 2013 that is set to begin in the spring.
The project is estimated to cost $774,400 and will include upgrading water and sewer mains on William Avenue from Fifth to Guy streets, Fourth Street from Parker to William Avenue; Guy Street north of Horace to Lake Street; and Maple Street north of William Avenue.
In an effort to keep students safer as the walk or bike to and from school, the city is working with the county on safer school crossings on CSAH 4 and possibly lowering the speed limit. The city hopes to receive grant money through a Safe Route to Schools grant to make such improvements and also connect the Dassel-Cokato Regional Trail to the Spring Lake trail.
Come spring, “We’re looking forward to another successful farmers market season,” Boese said, explaining the market grows in vendors and attendance each year.