Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 10/7/2016

October 7, 2016

October leaves in Minnesota

Dear Friends,

This week I visited Moorhead for Public Power Week to celebrate some great examples of local energy development, including the Capture the Sun Community Solar Garden project built by Moorhead Public Service. This week is also Manufacturing Week and my staff attended a Manufacturers Breakfast event in Fergus Falls and met with Rural Minnesota Concentrated Employment Program to help empower our communities and workforce. I’m also pleased this week to announce significant federal aid for the District: nearly $13 million from USDA for several community projects and, following my efforts, $2.1 million in funding to repair electrical utilities damaged during a severe winter storm in April 2013.

Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Public Power Week

David Hallman (MOORHEAD), Capture the Sun Community Solar Garden

On Tuesday, I visited Moorhead to attend the ribbon cutting for an award-winning, 40-kilowatt Capture the Sun Community Solar Garden project. The project brings solar energy to consumers who, for various reasons, cannot install solar panels on their homes or businesses. Moorhead Public Service was recognized with the American Public Power Association Energy Innovator Award and a national award from the Western Area Power Administration for the success of this project. Capture the Sun went online in 2015, but local investment and positive response was so strong that Moorhead Public Service was able to build another array this year. For more information on Capture the Sun please visit this website.

Moorhead Public Service

High Service Pumping Station

Following the Capture the Sun ribbon cutting, we made the quick drive to visit Moorhead Public Service’s new high service pumping station. This new, $13 million facility replaces old pumps and has the capacity to efficiently pump 20 million gallons of water per day at Moorhead’s water treatment plant.

USDA Announces Nearly $13 Million in Funding for Four Projects in Minnesota

I was happy to be joined by Red Lake Chairman Darrell G. Seki Sr and USDA State Director Colleen Landkamer to announce nearly $13 million in funding for key community developments throughout the Seventh. These financing loans will be used to expand the dialysis center at Red Lake, as well as to build a new chemical dependency treatment center, a new fire station in Red Lake and a new community center in Ponemah.

Fergus Falls Area Manufacturers Breakfast

On Thursday, my staff aide Toni Merdan attended the 2016 Fergus Falls Area Manufacturers Breakfast to celebrate Manufacturing Week. Manufacturing contributes $48 billion to the Minnesota economy each year and has the second largest total payroll of any industry. Josh Teigen, president of Protostetics ( from Barnesville, pictured above, provided the keynote speech about his challenges as a young entrepreneur and keeping young talent in Greater Minnesota.

Rural Minnesota CEP

Dan Wenner, Executive Director of RMCEP

On Wednesday, Toni Merdan attended an informational meeting sponsored by Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc. (RMCEP) for legislators to learn more about RMCEP services and their impact on the workforce system. RMCEP has been a private, non-profit partner in the workforce system for more than 48 years in a 19 county area in west central and northwest Minnesota. In addition to assisting the general public with job placement, they have specific services for employers, adults, low-income adults and families, youth, senior citizens, MFIP participants and dislocated workers. For more information on the organization, visit   

Fargo-Moorhead Flood Protection

This week the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources denied a permit application for the proposed Fargo-Moorhead Flood Risk Management project. The Minnesota DNR raised safety concerns for the proposal to build a high-hazard dam, and objections to land development plans that would further encourage new construction in a floodplain. I believe that residents in the Red River Valley all deserve to be protected from the devastating impacts of flooding. I have fought for flood protection in Moorhead, and worked across the border to support the flood protection in Grand Forks and East Grand Forks. It is past time for stakeholders to come together to resolve the issues that are preventing Fargo from taking the steps needed to provide flood protection for its resident’s without unnecessarily impacting people not currently at risk of being flooded. We know that the “my way or the high-way” process has been a waste of time and money and is an impediment to finding a solution that will work for the entire area.


Veterans Affairs News

The Bemidji VA clinic is moving to a new location in January 2018. The new location will be located at 1217 Anne St., in Bemidji. The new site will have more space to accommodate the needs of both veterans and staff. The current clinic initially started with one primary care provider and now the clinic has three Patient Aligned Care Teams serving approximately 3,000 Veterans. The current location of the Bemidji Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain open until the new location is fully operational. The new clinic will feature the same services as the current outpatient clinic. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

FAFSA Student Aid Applications Available

The Department of Education will be opening the 2017-2018 FAFSA three months earlier than usual, beginning this past Saturday, October 1. Students who rely on FAFSA financial aid can now use new, streamlined forms to submit applications. For more information on the process and changes, visit

Federal Funding for Utilities Repair

I am pleased to announce that Nobles Cooperative Electric, which serves consumers living in southwest Minnesota, will receive $2.1 million in federal funding to repair electrical utilities damaged during a severe winter storm in April 2013. I led a letter, along with Congressman Tim Walz and Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, to the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover the cost of damage to power lines and poles. After initially denying the request, FEMA changed course and thankfully decided to provide much-needed financial assistance to the rural electric cooperative.

This Week in American History

Rosalie Wahl was the first female justice appointed to the state supreme court, on October 3, 1977. Prior to her appointment by Governor Rudy Perpich, Wahl served as an Assistant State Public Defender from 1967 to 1973. She served on the Supreme Court until her retirement in 1994.

Spotted in the Seventh

Can YOU guess what was Spotted in the Seventh? Each week, the newsletter will feature a landmark or site somewhere in Western Minnesota. The first person to name the location wins! The location of the photo as well as the winner will be revealed in the next newsletter.

This week’s landmark was a fully functional flour mill from 1888 until 1939, and is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places…

Congratulations to Carolyn Olson of Cottonwood for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Minnesota Corn Maze outside of Edgerton!

Share your guess on our website –

Tejah Olson (FERGUS FALLS)