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Community visionaries invited to rally

MAZEPPA — People with ideas to create community and business development in the lower Zumbro River Valley are encouraged to attend the Zumbro Valley Input Rally on Oct. 20.

"We want a roomful of people," said Plainview EDA director Judith Jordan, who is also coordinator of the Community Growth Initiative. She said the Zumbro Valley Steering Committee hopes to attract motivated, positive and forward-thinking people to collaborate to stimulate business in the lower Zumbro River Valley.

The rally will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Oct. 20 in the Mazeppa Community Center. Pam Bishop, of the Southern Initiative Foundation, will facilitate.

The goal is to identify and build on the strengths found along the 35-mile corridor from the exit onto Minnesota Highway 60 East off of U.S. 52 to Kellogg. The area includes Mazeppa, Zumbro Falls, Hammond, Millville and Plainview. Zumbrota is included even though it is not technically in the 35-mile corridor. 

"It is very important to us to have a good working relationship with Zumbrota because it has a vital business district, which draws traffic off the highway that could be directed our way," Jordan said.


People at the rally will be asked for ideas that promote the lower Zumbro River Valley. The ideas will be voted on during the rally. The most popular ones will be invited to submit full proposals in December to the Leadership Team, which is comprised of 19 volunteers from valley communities. Community Growth Initiative will donate $20,000 in Quick-Start grants, which will be awarded to the projects with the greatest potential to promote the lower Zumbro River Valley. For-profit businesses are not eligible for the grants.

"There is consensus that the Zumbro River Valley is as appealing and could attract as many visitors as the Root and Apple Rivers do," Jordan said.

A free lunch will be served at the rally.

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