$1.8 Million in Small Cities Development Grants Headed to Northwoods

ST. PAUL, MINN. – Three communities located throughout Senator Tom Saxhaug’s (DFL-Grand Rapids) district 5 are receiving Small Cities Development Grants to help pay for rehabilitating housing and commercial structures and improving infrastructure. The grants were made available to cities and townships with populations fewer than 50,000 and counties with populations fewer than 200,000.

The City of Grand Rapids will receive $615,552 in grants to target a 36 square-block area in the northwest section of town. Much of the commercial area that will benefit from the grants is located along Highway 2, with Jerry’s Warehouse Liquors marking the west end and Ogle’s Marketplace Foods bookending the east side of the redevelopment work. Additionally, 12 owner-occupied homes and 15 multi-family rental properties will benefit from the grant money, which will go toward maintenance, appearance and energy efficiency upgrades.

“I am very thankful to DEED for the grant money headed to Grand Rapids. This money will help improve the quality of housing stock across the city, keeping the west end of town looking nice and viable – which is good for the city and for tourism,” said Sen. Saxhaug.

The City of Deer River will receive $772,875 in grant money that city officials say will make a significant impact for local contractors. The money will be divided between seven downtown commercially owned buildings along Main Street and First Avenue as well as 20 single-family homes.

The final grant recipient in the area is the City of Backus, which will receive $410,000. The city says most of the money will go toward reinvestment in residentially owned properties as well as investment in downtown oriented commercial buildings. The money provides a jumpstart in financing that means a lot of people will be able to make repairs that wouldn’t otherwise have been able to be completed.

“The Small Cities Development Grant program really does a great job of kickstarting economic development and allows communities to complete projects, improve curb appeal and create jobs. This is a really great investment for Northern Minnesota’s small communities,” said Sen. Saxhaug.


Senator Tom Saxhaug
Tom Saxhaug represents District 5, which includes portions of Beltrami, Cass, Hubbard, and Itasca counties in the northern part of the state. He is a retired insurance agent. Sen. Saxhaug chairs the State Departments and Veterans Budget Division.

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