Guest Column: North Branch in middle of exciting transformation

In 2018, dubbed the year of engagement, a dedicated and enthusiastic group of residents and business owners participated in the preparation of the city’s Comprehensive Plan and in the Minnesota Design Team visit.  

Then 2019, dubbed the year of implementation, proved that ideas can be turned into actions. Many of the Design Team’s recommendations came to life. We saw an expanded Concerts in the Park series, pop-up park spaces in the downtown and area businesses were promoted during the MS 150 and Ragnar Run. 

Most notably, the city adopted a new logo. The process took several meetings and the better part of one year, but the new logo represents the values and vision of the city’s residents and business owners. It can be found on the city’s website, and it will be rolled out to vehicles, street signs and uniforms over time. 

So what will be the theme for 2020? Riding the wave of momentum, the city is working on its strategic goals and working to improve the overall economic climate of the city. In the coming months, you will see articles that highlight the work of the council and the city’s committees and commissions.  

January 2020 marked the opening of the first of two new Kwik Trips. I don’t want to overshadow the other business openings – any new or expanding business in North Branch should be celebrated. But Kwik Trip’s openings are a striking example of the economic development that has eluded North Branch for so many years, and I see it as just the first of many good things to come.  

2020 is our year of advancement and improvement, and everyone can be a part of that wave. Shop local, support your neighborhood businesses and celebrate all of the good things that are happening around town! Happy New Year!

RENAE FRY is city administrator of North Branch. She can be reached at 651-674-8113. 

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