Andersen Windows plans major Minnesota expansion

Has nobody told them about our taxes? “Andersen Corp. is planning to add more than 300 jobs as part of a $45 million expansion project at its manufacturing facilities in Cottage Grove and North Branch, Minn,” reports the Pioneer Press’ Nick Woltman. As with most business expansions these days, it comes with a price: “Andersen will receive $1.5 million from Minnesota’s Job Creation Fund and $500,000 from the Minnesota Investment fund for the Cottage Grove and North Branch expansions. The company received $625,000 from the Job Creation fund for its Bayport expansion.”

Something stinks in southern Minnesota. MPR’s Elizabeth Baier reports on a worrying concentration of hog feedlots in Dodge County, “Ten hog farms sat already in a three-mile ring around Lowell Trom’s rural Dodge County home. When an 11th got a permit, he fought it. … The Troms are at the center of that storm. They’ve filed a second lawsuit against Dodge County, saying it put in place an unfair and biased process to fast-track the project, and are waiting on a hearing in the coming weeks.”

In other agriculture news, Minnesota is #1! … For converting wetlands into farmland. That’s according to a new study released by the University of Wisconsin and reported in the Mankato Free Press: “The study, which used satellite data from three different sources to analyze land conversion, was published Thursday in the journal Environmental Research Letters. The study estimated that 7.3 million acres were converted nationwide. According to the study, the increased carbon emissions from the additional corn and soybean crops alone would be equal to a year’s emissions from 34 coal-fired power plants.” 

FYI, open records laws do not apply to Minnesota townships. The Star Tribune’s James Eli Shiffer clarifies, “The Minnesota Government Data Practices Act applies to state agencies, counties, cities, the Met Council and many other units of government. But most townships are not covered. These are some of the oldest governments in the state, having been laid out in squares, 6 miles at a side, by Congress and turned into self-governing places when Minnesota became a state in 1858. … Townships are subject to the open meeting law, so those who attend have a legal right to see agenda-related records and meeting minutes. But the exemption from the records law means most of the state’s 1,783 townships can ignore record requests if they get too annoying.

The Glean

Minneapolis is the healthiest city in America. That’s according to, which looked at “… several measures of healthy communities such as the adult obesity rate, the percent of residents with access to healthy food and other stats. We also factored in the number of hospitals, ratio of doctors to residents and more.” Minneapolis’ secret? “People in Minneapolis like to get moving, and the access this city provides to exercise opportunities was a big reason why it made our list of the Top 10 Healthiest Cities.”

Fargo’s Hotel Donaldson is jumping on the insect-eating bandwagon. Inforum’s John Lamb spoke to retired entomologist Maurice Degrugillier, who “… is helping organize a wine and insect pairing at Stoker’s Lounge in the basement of the Hotel Donaldson.” There are photos.

In other news …

Pew Poll: Scott Walker among the least-well-known potential GOP presidential candidates [PewResearchCenter]

Maybe if he hung a few more Ronald Reagan portraits? [New York Times]

Because the Vikings just don’t have enough space Downtown: “Morgue near Vikings stadium could become lively spot” [Star Tribune]

St. Cloud State of the City preview: “So what is the state of St. Cloud?” [St. Cloud Times]

“Minneapolis Federal Reserve to start Indian Country center” [AP via Albert Lea Tribune]

Cue traffic complaints: “Hennepin County Plans $86 Million in Road Projects this Year” [KSTP]

Aaron Brown lays down an uncomfortable truth about the Iron Range’s mining woes [Minnesota Brown]

The Fargo-Moorhead Opera lands a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano [Inforum]

“Reward Grows To $2,000 In Lakeville Tainted Dog Treat Case” [WCCO]

The bird flu scourge continues to spread across Minnesota’s commercial turkey industry. [AP via ABC News]

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 04/06/2015 - 11:27 pm.

    How can Anderson Windows do that?

    With our tax base allegedly driving companies out of the state, how can the Anderson job creators expand? Oh, I get it. It’s more important to have product demand first and access to a good employee base second and farther down the line, reasonable taxes. Darn you Anderson Windows. Another GOP myth shot down. When will the myths quit falling? Two bits the GOP will claim credit for this expansion.

  2. Submitted by Joe Smithers on 04/07/2015 - 11:34 am.

    Dodge County

    The Tromm’s lawsuit lacks any real merit since the crux of their argument is that things like soils, concrete pit plans and specifications, etc. were not reviewed by the planning commission. These types of things are reviewed by the County Feedlot Officer prior to issuing a construction short form permit so having the planning commission review them or requiring the owner submit them to the planning commission is pretty ridiculous. Both the CUP and construction short form need to be in hand before construction so I fail to see a lack of adequate review as the Tromms suggest in their lawsuit.

    I also fail to see a worrying concentration of feedlots in Dodge County. In fact there are far fewer feedlots in the highly agricultural and low population density Dodge County compared to most other counties. Dodge County has a very low population of residents and is highly agricultural so it makes sense to place the feedlots there in the first place.

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