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Your Town Tuesday: Holdingford Mayor On Natural Gas Project, Lake Wobegon Trail [VIDEO]

HOLDINGFORD – In our “Your Town Tuesday” series, this week we’re featuring the town of Holdingford.

Holdingford is a community of just over 700 people.  It’s named after Randolph Holding.

Mayor Ernie Schmit says they’re bringing natural gas to town this year. He says it’s the biggest initiative for the town in the 12 years he’s been the mayor.

They asked the state legislature to help fund the project with bonding money, but were denied.  So, they’re moving forward on their own.

Schmit says each customer that voluntarily switches to natural gas will be charged an additional fee of about $14.50 a month for the next 15 years. He says, “If more people hook up, the sooner this will be paid off. Once it’s paid off that fee will be gone. But it’s still going to be cheaper than buying fuel oil or propane or anything else.”

Schmit says the school district is expected to save between $30,000 and $40,000 a year.

Greater Minnesota Natural Gas will bring the natural gas from Swanville to Upsala, to the County Line. Xcel Energy will then bring it from there to both Opol and Holdingford.

The project is expected to be completed by October.

Also, Schmit says the Lake Wobegon Trail has been a great addition to the town. He says, “We’re not on a major highway, so this is our major highway. This is our lifeline, as far as economic development goes. It’s snowmobiling in the winter time, and bikes and walkers in the summer time. You come here on a Saturday that parking lot down by the Wobegon Trail is full.”

Last year, with the help of the Lions Club, Holdingford opened a new campground for people passing through town on the trail. Schmit says now they’re in the process of raising money for a bathroom with showers, which will also act as a storm shelter.  The cost for that is estimated to be around $189,000.

Holdingford Mayor Ernie Schmit, Photo by WJON.com’s Jim Maurice

Schmit says he’s excited that a restaurant is coming back to town. The former “Minnesota 13″ restaurant closed a few months ago. The new “Rough Riders” bar and grill is expected to open in that location next month.

Citywide clean-up in Holdingford is this Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until noon.

And mark your calendars for Holdingford Daze coming-up on July 11th and 12th.

More Your Town Tuesday Stories

Tune-in next week when our “Your Town Tuesday” series travels to Avon.

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