Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 9/22/2017


Dear Friends,

This week I spent time visiting communities throughout the Seventh district where innovation and development continue to bring new jobs and opportunities to rural Minnesota. When businesses like Digi-Key, Trū Shrimp, and RS Fiber Cooperative invest in our local communities our entire rural economy benefits. I also sat down with Chris Berg to discuss some of the current issues before Congress on his show Point of View, which you can watch below.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

Digi-Key’s Groundbreaking Celebration

Photo courtesy of the Thief River Falls Times

I had the privilege to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of Digi-Key’s expansion earlier in the week. The Thief River Falls-based tech company employs more than 3,000 people and, with this expansion, an additional 1,000 jobs will be created. Strengthening our rural economy and workforce continues to be one of my top priorities. This project demonstrates what can be achieved when we all work side-by-side.

RS Fiber Cooperative

On Thursday, I attended a presentation on the RS Fiber project in Olivia along with USDA Assistant to the Secretary Anne Hazlett. Local leaders were on hand to discuss their experience with the project. We talked about future broadband needs and how their business model uses a phased approach to get fiber out to every home and business in their geography. The local tenacity to move this project forward was incredible and their perseverance paid off. USDA recently announced a $1,000,000 loan for the project. For more information on the RS Fiber project go to:

Cougar Cub Daycare Center

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting the Cougar Cub Daycare Center in Franklin. This center is a great example of a public private partnership between the city, school district, economic development groups and private investment. It's been a welcome addition to the community providing an essential service.

Point of View with Chris Berg

I was a guest on Point of View with Chris Berg on Wednesday night. We spoke about the current situation on the F-M diversion project, health care, tax reform, and my meeting last week with the President. Watch my interview here: part 1 and part 2.

Minnesota Association of School Administrators

Pace (Marble), Luther Heller (Superintendent, MONTEVIDEO), Dr. Gary M. Amoroso, MASA Executive Director, Diane McCarron, MASE President (WILLMAR), John P. Klaber (Mankato), David Curt Tryggestad (Eden Prairie)

Last week, I met with members of the Minnesota Association of School Administrators to discuss the status of education throughout Minnesota, and efforts on Capitol Hill to support our schools. I appreciate the hard work our educators put in every day to insure our students have the tools they need to succeed. I will continue to work to remove the red tape that hampers our students’ success.

100th Anniversary of Graystone Hotel

On Thursday, my staff attended the dedication of a time capsule commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Graystone Hotel in Detroit Lakes.

The hotel has a long history in Detroit Lakes with many owners and businesses, but had fallen into disrepair. In 1998, the Midwest Minnesota Development Corporation purchased the former hotel and annex with the goal of rehabilitating the property once again. After that purchase, they renovated the second and third floors into affordable rental units, while the first floor was repurposed for commercial use.

MMCDC also has acquired and renovated the remaining buildings on the block. The entire project was completed in five years at a cost of $9.5 million. The hotel is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today the Graystone Plaza, as it is now known, houses the MMCDC's local headquarters as well as a handful of other local businesses and 41 units of affordable rental housing.

Security Tour at the Minneapolis Airport

This week a member of my staff toured the security areas of the TSA and Customs and Border Patrol at the Minneapolis Airport.  My staff was briefed on security measures being implemented for the Super Bowl traffic as well as the newly installed automated security screening lanes to improve wait time. 

Balaton Bay Reef Training and Engineering Center

My staff attended Trū Shrimp Systems official groundbreaking ceremony this week on the Balaton Bay Reef Training and Engineering Center. The primary purpose of Balaton Bay Reef is to train employees for careers at the production Harbors. Learn more about the training center and plans for other Trū Shrimp facilities below.

Veterans Affairs Mental Health Summit

My staff attended the 5th Annual Veterans Affairs Mental Health Summit this week. The Summit provided an opportunity to learn more about the VA’s staff and programs related to mental health services. I continue to support those who defended our country, and will work to ensure they have the resources they need to serve our veterans.

Congressman Paulsen's Service Academy Night

My staff attended Congressman Paulsen's service academy night this week. Each year I have the privilege of nominating a limited number of people to four of the five service academies. The honor of attending a service academy comes with an obligation and commitment to serve in the military for a minimum of five years upon graduation. For more information, please review my page of Frequently Asked Questions for those seeking a Military Academy Nomination. To request a Military Academy Nomination from my office, please visit my website and complete the associated materials by November 1st.

Legislative Update

Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act

After gathering input from patients, providers, and advocates from across the 7th District, I have agreed to lend my support to the Medicare Buy-In and Health Care Stabilization Act (H.R. 3748) as an original co-sponsor. This bill will help create more affordable options for individuals between the ages of 50 and 64 by allowing them to “buy-in” to Medicare. The bill also re-establishes a catastrophic reinsurance program in the individual market to help stabilize premiums and make coverage more affordable for those in the middle.


Drug-Free Communities Support Program

This week, the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program awarded several grants to the 7th District to help individuals and organizations prevent youth substance abuse. More than ever, it is important that we address addiction in our communities. I am very happy to congratulate western Minnesota’s DFC coalitions for their success in this competitive selection process.

This Week in American History

On September 22, 1968 Cesar Tovar played all nine positions during a Twins game, becoming the second Major League player to ever do so. Nicknamed “Mr. Versatility”, Tovar played for the Twins until 1972.

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 keeps up the baseball spirit somewhere in Sibley County…

Congratulations to Roland Rauenhorst of Olivia for being the first to correctly identify our last location as the Continental Divide Marker outside of Fergus Falls!

Share your guess on our website –

Visitors from the Seventh

Peter and Valerie Solem (THIEF RIVER FALLS)

“Watercolor Landscape”
Miranda Klimesh (BRECKENRIDGE)