Corey Theis is excited about 2018.

As mayor of Redwood Falls, Theis said he has seen a lot of positives in the community, adding he believes that is going to continue in 2018.

“This is going to be a busy year,” said Theis.

The city will be making some very important decisions regarding its future in 2018, and at the top of that list is the future of the Redwood Area Hospital. Having entered into discussions with CentraCare regarding the potential of a business transaction of some sort, city and hospitals leaders will be spending time looking at all of the options before moving forward with any decision. 

Theis said at the end of the discussions that decision could go in any number of different ways, or it could mean not making any changes at all.

“We want to do what is best for the city and our residents,” said Theis.

Theis said as he has watched the business climate change in recent years, he sees that as an area with tremendous potential for growth.

“The challenge is finding people to fill the jobs that new business would create,” said Theis, adding he thinks the best way for that to happen is for those who once called Redwood Falls home to come back. “I would love to see more of the youth of the community come back to Redwood Falls. The good news is that we are already seeing some of that happening.”

As more of the Baby Boomer generation retires, the need to fill those open jobs will only increase, and that opens the door for some of those youth to return home.

“There are going to be a lot of opportunities open for people who want to come back,” said Theis.

Theis said he is also looking forward to seeing the impact people who have been hired by the city as new leaders will have on the community. Among those positions are the chief of police and the city’s director of parks and recreation, and Theis expressed his confidence in those taking on these new roles.

“I believe they are going to do a great job for the city,” he said.

Theis, who was initially elected to the city council in 2004, is going to finish his first full term as mayor.

“This year is actually my fifth as mayor though,” said Theis, who served the final year of the term that opened with the passing of Gary Revier in 2013.

The City of Redwood Falls is also going to see its share of construction in 2018, and at the top of that list is the reconstruction of Bridge Street (TH19/71) through the community. That work will include the addition of a left turn lane from Swain Street heading east through town, as well as the installation of a stoplight at the intersection of Bridge Street and CSAH 101 (near Runnings).

That construction is going to be a positive addition to the city, said Theis, adding, however, it may mean a bit of inconvenience throughout much of the year.

“I am hoping people will be patient as that work is being done,” said Theis.

Theis said the Ramsey Park improvements that were done in 2017 will enhance the opportunities for the public, and he is hoping the city hears good news about another of its assets – Lake Redwood.

“We have been talking about that lake for years,” said Theis, adding he is hopeful this is the year that the city receives funding from the state to reclaim the lake. “I am excited for that possibility.”

Theis said Redwood Falls has been experiencing a lot of positive change recently, and he is very excited to see what happens next.