County backs visitors center

Vision 2020

AUSTIN, Minn. — Some in southern Minnesota are hoping a visitors center will help build their community and now they have got the county’s support.

The Austin City Council recently approved $2,500 towards the first phase of a possible visitors center. Tuesday the Mower County board approved the same amount with a 3-2 vote.

The first phase, which is research, design, location and more, is going to cost $42,000.

“We need to figure out the makeup of it, then find the sight location, from there then RSP will work with us on what’s the cost of the construction, anywhere from construction of the building to annual budget,” said John Gray, Vision 2020’s Gateway to Austin Chair.

The Hormel Foundation will pick up what is not covered by the city and county.

“It could bring in new business and new jobs and that would be a huge caveat to this whole process, so having a nice Austin, Mower County visitors center would do a lot in attracting visitors to our community,” Gray said.

They would like it to be located on the I-90 corridor for visibility and accessibility.

The initial process should start in a month and they hope to wrap it up before November. Gray hopes the visitors center will be ready to use two years after that.

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