City Comprehensive Plan

LHB, Inc. is working with the EDA and City of Granite Falls on its 20-year Vision and City Comprehensive Plan. At the October 18, 2021, work session, a preliminary plan was shared with City Council.

The proposed Vision:

Granite Falls is a connected community centered on unique cultural and natural resources with diverse social and economic opportunities.

Community Conversations were held during the Summer and early Fall of 2021. A total of 242 community stakeholders participated in the three input sessions: 65 participants attended in-person small group meetings, 82 responded during the online surveys, and 95 stopped by the EDA booth at Squid Fest to review and respond to the preliminary goals.

Goals with 24 tactics were proposed to City Council in October 2021.
Maps of opportunity, land use and future development are also included.
View & listen to the live presentation to City Council on October 18, 2021: Click here.
Download the Preliminary Plan (PDF) shared with City Council on October 18, 2021: Click here.


The EDA Board met with two landscape architectural firms at their March 8, 2021. The firms presented their proposals and responded to questions. Based on these interviews, the EDA Board recommends engaging LHB, Inc. to develop a Comprehensive Plan that will include the following Core Framework Elements:

  • Vision, goals and objectives
  • General land use
  • Housing
  • Parks & open space
  • Transportation
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic development and implementation

The Board received three proposals and believe LHB, Inc. has the passion, experience and process to provide the City and EDA with a meaningful and productive plan. Following the presentations, the Board expressed both firms were accomplished and competitive in their services.  Comments supporting the recommendation of LHB, Inc. included their desire to create a plan that is unique to Granite Falls and their intensive two-day community engagement process. LHB’s experience with a range of cities including Buffalo and Luverne to Readstown, Wisconsin along with river corridor development, recovery from natural events, and addressing decommissioning of plants.

The work on the City’s Comprehensive Plan continues. Several city plans were provided for the discovery phase, including the EDA’s 2021 Housing Study and 2021 Market Area Analysis.


Executive Director Opening

Immediate Opening

The Economic Development Director initiates, delivers, and administers plans, programs, and services that promote economic development in the City of Granite Falls.   This individual works with existing and prospective businesses, city residents, various committees, boards, councils, and community/regional/state organizations to promote common development projects, goals and objectives in the City. Maintains a positive working relationship with city department heads and staff, business representatives, elected and appointed city officials, community groups, outside governmental agencies, local media, and the general public. Letters of interest and resumes may be sent to Granite Falls City Manager, Crystal Johnson or dropped at City Hall, 641 Prentice St, Granite Falls, MN 56241.

See full position description


Small Cities Forgivable Grants

Interested Participants Sought

Small City Development Program Application for City of Granite Falls

The EDA (Economic Development Authority) of Granite Falls, working with the Upper Minnesota Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC), is looking to apply for a grant from the Small Cities Development Program (SCDP) through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This grant is for funds to help property owners, multi-family rental and retail building owners rehab their buildings. 

The Small City Development Program grant helps small cities in Minnesota help keep their current housing and commercial properties are safe, healthy and affordable. The forgivable grants assist low to moderate income individuals and build owners address substandard commercial buildings. 

How can you help make this program possible in Granite Falls? The EDA needs feedback from Granite Falls residents and business owners to show there are enough eligible property owners interested in the programs. Included in this month’s City utility bill from the City is a “Participant Interest Survey.” The more responses received from the community will help Granite Falls’ application be awarded. Please submit the Interest Form to Granite Falls EDA before October 8, 2021.

Community meetings are planned to help residents and commercial owners learn more about the program and answer questions. Assistance to fill out the Participant Interest Survey form on October 13, 2021 at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the city hall.

Questions may be directed to Linda Mathiasen, EDA Executive Director at 320-269-1878,

Download to complete Interest forms or pick up at City Hall:


Granite Square Bids Open

Granite Square – Bids Open until 2PM Sept. 21

Notice is hereby given that the (EDA) Economic Development Authority of Granite Falls, MN will receive sealed bids to construct one (1) single family dwelling and (1) two-family dwelling, referred to as Granite Square – Phase I. The EDA anticipates making three workforce market rate rental units available in Yellow Medicine County within the city limits of Granite Falls.

Bid proposal forms, including specifications, can be obtained from the Granite Falls Economic Development Authority, 641 Prentice Street, Granite Falls, MN 56241 or online at  All bids must be placed in a sealed envelope and clearly marked in the lower left-hand corner, “Granite Square – Phase I.”  Sealed bids shall be submitted to Granite Falls EDA, 641 Prentice St, Granite Falls, MN 56241, no later than 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021, at which time all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud. For more information, visit the Granite Falls EDA website at Contacts for bidding questions: Jesse Schott, Director of Construction Services, 507-836-1626 or James Arentson, 507-836-1630

The EDA reserves the right to reject any or all bids and to waive any and all irregularities and technicalities in the bidding process and to enter into such contract as it shall deem to be in the best interest.

Linda Mathiasen, EDA Executive Director, 320-269-1878 or


Camper Cabin At Memorial Park

The EDA is pleased to announce the Camper Cabin is now available for summer rental. The rate is $70/night and can be reserved online. Save $10/night on weekly rentals.

Click here to check availability and see rental information.

New in 2021, Memorial Park now offers a camper cabin through a partnership with Granite Falls Economic Development Authority (EDA).  The 20’ x 12’ cabin is available for seasonal reservations. The rustic, one-room camper cabin has heat and electricity. No cooking is allowed inside except crockpots and coffeepots. The cabin holds up to five people with twin bunk beds and one full with twin bed above. No pets. Smoking and vaping are not allowed. Camper cabins do not have indoor plumbing. The cabin is located in the park’s campground, where seasonal restrooms, showers, and drinking water are available.

Memorial Park is located on 141 acres of park land within the city limits. The Park is along the Minnesota River with RV hook-ups and tent sites. Bathhouse, new playground with zipline and renovated park shelter. Hike, bike, fish, paddle, picnic.  

Bunk Configuration
1. Twin over Full
2. Twin over Twin
No running water in cabin
No restroom in cabin
No linens provided
Included: Electricity, Heat, WIFI

Reservations are $80/night with a minimum two-night stay. No same-day reservations. Campers are responsible for tax and fees.

Rules for Camper Cabin

1. Regular occupancy is the number of people that can be accommodated for the bunk beds provided in the cabin. Maximum occupancy is six people.

2. Campers must provide their own bedding, pillows, towels, toiletry items, dishes and cleaning supplies, such as dish soap and hand soap.

3. Check-in time is 4 p.m. Check-out time is 11 a.m.

4. Smoking and/or vaping is not allowed in the cabin.

5. Memorial Park or Granite Falls EDA is not responsible for personal items that are lost, stolen or become damaged.

6. Do not burn trash in fire rings. Approved firewood only.

7. All interior cabin furniture must remain inside the cabin.

8. No cooking is allowed inside except crockpots and coffeepots.

9. No grilling or smokers are allowed on the deck.

10. No cleaning of fish or game in the cabin.

11. General quiet hours are from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Creating or sustaining any unreasonable noise will follow Granite Falls city ordinances.

12. Remove all personal items, food and trash from the cabin at the end of your stay. The cabin is self-housekeeping. You are responsible for returning the cabin into the same condition as arrival when you leave.

13. Parking is allowed in designated areas.

14. Report all emergencies to local law enforcement.

15. Damaged or missing items will be charged to the credit card on file at time of reservation.


City Comprehensive Planning

Community Conversations – Take Our Survey.

The EDA and City of Granite Falls are hosting public listening sessions for the creation of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and 20-Year Vision. This will be a guiding document for City decision-making regarding vision, goals and objectives for general land use, housing, parks and open spaces, transportation, trails, riverfront, infrastructure and economic development. 

Community Conversations were held in-person on June 29 & 30.

Survey is Closed – Share your ideas and opinions by taking the 3-Question Survey.

Questions can be directed to Crystal Johnson, City Manager or Linda Mathiasen, EDA Executive Director.


Market Analysis Survey

EDA Conducts Retail Survey, Requests Business Participation

Granite Falls Economic Development Authority is collaborating with the University of Minnesota Extension to conduct a retail market analysis. The purpose of the project is to identify business opportunities to improve the economic vitality of Granite Falls.

Take the Survey – click here:

Businesses are receiving a postcard in the mail and are asked to share about their business and the opportunities you see for the local shopping district, downtown, and the US-212 corridor as well as primary challenges. For the survey to be successful, businesses are asked to provide direct and honest feedback. Participation in the retail market survey is voluntary. It will remain open through Friday, April 30.

The confidential online survey will take less than 15 minutes and will be open through April 23, 2021. A summary of results will be available. No information will be included that will identify individual respondents.

Questions regarding the survey may be directed to Neil Linscheid, University of Minnesota Extension, Center for Community Vitality, 651-334-2372,, or Linda Mathiasen, Granite Falls Economic Development Authority, 320-269-1878,

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this study and would like to talk to someone other than the project sponsors, you are encouraged to contact the Research Subjects’ Advocate Line, D528 Mayo, 420 Delaware St. Southeast, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455; (612) 625-1650.


2021 Housing Study

Granite Falls Releases Study to Promote Housing Development.

Looking to promote single family and multi-family housing development, Granite Falls Economic Development Authority completed a Housing Study in April 2021. The Comprehensive Housing Market Study was conducted by Community Partners Research Partners, Inc., and shares recommendations on a five-year growth projection in order to meet the needs of current and future households.

The study identifies a projected demand for three to five owner-occupied units to be constructed annually within the city limits. Based on Granite Falls’ low vacancy levels, there is a pent-up demand for 20 to 24 market rate units and 20-30 moderate market rate rentals. With an aging population, Granite Falls would benefit from the development of 22 to 26 assisted living and 16 to 20 beds for memory care housing. Detailed demographic information and the full list of housing recommendations can be found at

The EDA works with residents, building owners and developers to assist in providing a broad range of housing options within the city limits of Granite Falls. A volunteer Housing Committee will be meeting on a regular basis to develop an implementation plan and begin addressing the recommendations. 

Individuals interested in discussing potential sites and types of business assistance/partnerships for housing development in Granite Falls, should contact Linda Mathiasen, Granite Falls EDA Executive Director at or 320-269-1878.

Learn More

Download a copy here


“Get to Know Granite Falls: Then & Now” Call for Artists

Call Opens February 23, Closes March 31, 2021

Calling all visual artists in our Southwest Minnesota artist community to “GET TO KNOW GRANITE FALLS – THEN & NOW.”
Artists welcome from Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine Counties and Tribal Communities.

The Granite Area Arts Council (GAAC) and Granite Falls Economic Development Authority (EDA) are transforming the riverfront plaza, riverside parks and downtown with an outdoor art installment displayed on public benches that will last for years to come. The selected works will be digitally reproduced on vinyl wrap and adhered to ten lumber planks to create a functional bench with black wrought iron sides. The visual art works will serve as an interpretative exhibit of significant Granite Falls’ arts, heritage, culture and natural amenities.


Artists may choose from the following categories to inspire their work(s) of art:

  • Historical Scenes: Minnesota River Valley, Roebling Walking Bridge, Hydroelectric Dam, Sanitorium, Prentice Street;
  • Notable Influencers: Andrew Volstead;
  • Upper and Lower Sioux, Dakota History & Homelands;
  • Transportation routes: National Scenic Byway, Yellowstone Trail;
  • Natural disasters: Floods, Tornadoes;
  • Legislation: Prohibition, Volstead Act, Cooperative Act;
  • Open Category: Granite Falls’ past and today


Compensation: $250 per Artwork selected. Artists may submit more than one.

Each finished bench will have a designated space to recognize the Artist, their community, and name of the artwork. Original works will remain the property of each artist. In October 2021, there will be a Gallery Show at the Makers on the Minnesota gallery space at the Granite Area Arts Council located in downtown Granite Falls, to celebrate the project. Artists are welcome to sell their work or prints directly from the show, if so desired. A Granite Falls Walking Map showing all installed benches with artist names and descriptions will be publicly available. Ongoing promotion of artist and visual works will be supported by the Granite Falls Convention & Visitors Bureau, Granite Area Arts Council, Granite Falls Historical Society and more.


Get to Know Granite Falls – Then & Now” is open to all artists living in the 18 counties, tribal communities, and municipalities served by the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All work, whether one-of-a-kind pieces or limited editions are to be well conceived and expertly executed. Works should be original, two dimensional, and made by hand or utilizing digital tools. A one-page bio and artist statement (up to 300 words) will be required, along with two to five work samples. Please include a short description of work samples. If you are an emerging artist, someone who has been working at their craft for less than three years and who has never exhibited at an Art Show, please include this in your bio. No limit on the number of visual works submitted per artist.

Artwork may be created at 50-percent (12” high x 36” long) or 25-percent scale (6” high x 18” long) using watercolor, oil, acrylic, gouache, fresco, tempera, pastel encaustic, enamel, ink, charcoal, graphite, chalk, or pastel. For best results, any work should be matte finish for creating the digital image. Email to receive the bench template.

Visit for inspiration.


The Granite Falls Area Arts Council will act as jury and will recommend selected designs to the City Council. The one-of-a-kind works of art will be scored on the following:

  1. Relevance to Granite Falls
  2. Interpretation and the clarity of the theme to the viewer.
  3. Creativity and originality of the depicted theme.
  4. Quality of artistic composition and overall design.
  5. Overall impression of the art. 


Please review the following guidelines closely. Submissions due March 31, 2021.

  1. Submit the following via email or send a link via Dropbox, Google Drive or WeTransfer:
    1. Artist Bio – one page with contact information (email/phone)
    2. Sketch(s) of visual work for “Get to Know Granite Falls: Then & Now”
    3. Artist Statement up to 300 words, include category of Granite Falls interest
    4. 2-5 Work Samples with description (100-250 words) each

Email Submissions can be sent directly to Granite Falls Economic Development Authority at Submissions may be dropped off or mailed to Granite Area Arts Council, 807 Prentice Street, Granite Falls, MN 56241 or at Granite Falls City Hall, Attn: EDA, 641 Prentice Street, Granite Falls, MN 56241.

PLEASE DIRECT ALL QUESTIONS TO: Linda Mathiasen:, 320-269-1878, or Tamara Isfeld:, 320-894-0813. Historical images and information are available through the Granite Falls, Yellow Medicine & Chippewa County Historical Societies. Historical texts are available for purchase from the Granite Area Arts Council for reference.

Important Dates

  • February 23: Artist Call Opens.
  • Deadline to Submit Sketch & Artist Statement: Wednesday, March 31.
  • April 19: Selection of Artists
  • May 1-May 31: Submit final visual work(s)
  • October: Gallery Exhibit


Selected artists will be notified by email/phone and by posting on the Granite Area Arts Council website on Wednesday, April 21, by 10 p.m.

This project is funded by a grant from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council – made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund and an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.


SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Thanks to a concerted effort by our partners throughout the state, Minnesota small businesses can now apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).

What’s an EIDL?

  • The SBA EIDL program can provide low-interest loans of up to $2M to businesses and private non-profits.
  • EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. 
  • The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
  • EIDLs have long-term repayment options, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based on borrower’s ability to repay.

How do I apply?


The Minnesota River


This segment of the river is gentle, seldom interrupted by rapids. This stretch is designated as a Wild and Scenic River. The area is also rich in Minnesota history, and offers some of the most impressive landscapes in southwestern Minnesota. There is a class I rapids at Patterson’s Rapids near Renville County Park. About rapids classes.

Virtual Tour: Take a virtual tour. It’s a great tool to help you plan your next visit! Panoramic tour | Snapshot tour

Minnesota River Water Trail sections and maps:

Local contact

River location map
Order map 

Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, Renville, Redwood, Nicollet, and Brown Counties, southwestern Minnesota
Contact DNR Parks and Trails Southern Regional Office: (320) 359-6067.

River level reports | Outfitters | Safety | Licenses & fees | Current conditions

River character

The river is generally calm through this segment. There are two areas which will require portaging, one in Granite Falls and one just southeast from there. Patterson’s Rapids (river mile 225.9) is a short stretch of white water tumbling over a bed of glacial drift boulders. The rapids fall about five feet in one-third of a mile and are of intermediate difficulty at normal water levels.


From Granite Falls to North Redwood, the Minnesota flows through an area of granite outcrops. Some outcrops are the oldest rocks discovered in North America, dating back more than three billion years. The banks along this stretch of river are heavily forested with maple, elm, cottonwood and willow. Away from the river the high granite domes are covered with cedar and oak.

Fish and wildlife

The Minnesota River is a haven for bird life. Several species of waterfowl and wetland birds use the river corridor for nesting, breeding and resting during migration. Pheasants and Hungarian partridge find thick cover in the river valley for nesting and for protection from harsh winter storms.

The Minnesota also supports a large and relatively diverse fish population. Although carp and other riverine fish predominate, anglers searching the snags and roots wads can occasionally hook flathead catfish exceeding 40 pounds. Anglers searching river runs and pools can also hook channel catfish exceeding 10 pounds.

Walleye, sauger, and white bass are fairly numerous and vulnerable to angling when congregated. Anglers may also catch an occasional northern pike, smallmouth bass, and shovelnose sturgeon. Anglers fishing backwaters areas can occasionally find bluegill and black crappie. Anglers should continue to report tagged flathead catfish to Department of natural Resources, Hutchinson Fisheries Management Area, 20596 State Highway 7, Hutchinson, MN 55350.

The Minnesota Department of Health has guidelines for consuming fish taken from Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. Go to the Fish Consumption Advisory Page  to find out more.


Before the 1862 Sioux Uprising the Upper Sioux Agency (river mile 240) was one of the dispersal points where the U.S. government distributed food, supplies and annual payments to the Dakota Indians, who were confined by treaties to reservations along the river. The agency was also an educational center where Indians were taught farming, carpentry and other skills valued by white civilization. During the uprising white settlers abandoned the agency and the Dakota burned it to the ground. Today the area is preserved in Upper Sioux Agency State Park.

Patterson’s Rapids were named after Charles Patterson, an early trader who in 1783 established a trading post at the rapids. Sacred Heart Creek, which enters the Minnesota here, and the nearby town of Sacred Heart also owe their names to Patterson. The trader wore a bearskin hat and, since the bear was a sacred animal to the Dakota, they called him the Sacred Hat man; this name later became Sacred Heart.

The area near Patterson’s Rapids was the site of a short-lived gold rush in the 1890s. Discovered in 1894, the gold vein was soon depleted and the boom town of Springville became a ghost town.

In the summer of 1862 the Dakota faced starvation when their government annuities were delayed by bureaucratic red tape. During the resultant Sioux Uprising the Indians attacked settlements throughout the river valley and prepared to overrun the small garrison at Fort Ridgely. Chief Big Eagle later explained, “We thought the fort was the door to the valley as far as to St. Paul, and if we got through the door nothing could stop us this side of the Mississippi.”

Valley settlers, some escaping the Dakota by means of the Redwood Ferry (river mile 198.8), had flocked to the fort for protection. There they withstood Indian attacks until they were relieved by state troops. The fort area is now preserved in Fort Ridgely State Park.