More daycare, housing available in city as new company prepares to open

Bright Beginnings, a new daycare that is located at the old DL Kids building, held its grand opening Wednesday evening.

The event allowed families from the region to scout the new facility, which, according to Forward Devils Lake’s executive director, Rachel Lindstrom, should take some pressure off of working families who either may wish to relocate here or have struggled to find daycare options in the past.

“Three or four years ago when we started some of these big initiatives, (employers) could not find workers,” Lindstrom said. “It was one of our motivations to relieve the situations that were inhibiting people from working, such as not having adequate housing or not having quality child care.”

She’s optimistic that Bright Beginnings, with 38 children signed up now and a max capacity of 70, can be a big help.

“I wouldn’t say it’s solved, but we’re in a good position with it,” Lindstrom said. “I don’t know if it’s ever going to be solved, but we’re in the position where I don’t know that it’s an emergency anymore.”

Bright Beginnings reportedly has a waiting list for open spots, and Lindstrom said that they want to gradually expand to 57 children in their care by the end of the year. She says that the daycare wants to grow slowly at first after the overhaul of the old building.

One new business that will need employees soon is Bio Fiber, which purchased the old Ultra Green building from the city last year.

The company makes recyclable materials out of processed manure, and though they’ve suffered a few delays in their efforts to get the operation up and running, Lindstrom said at Wednesday’s FDL executive meeting they’re fairly close to getting production lines up and running.

“They will have at least one line open by the end of the year making products,” Lindstrom said, though she also relayed that Bio Fiber management believes that though they hope to get all lines going within 90-120 days, that projection is “extremely aggressive.”

“There’s definitely going to be an incentive for people to locate here,” she added.

Along with daycare options, another concern for the region’s working families and those who relocate to the region has been affordable housing, and Lindstrom says that a recent push to make more units available has seen results.

“Some of them are still under construction, but we have approved 122 housing units,” Lindstrom said. “We thought we could get people back into the workforce if we (addressed) those two factors.”

Another daycare may be opening soon, as Bethel E.F. Church is working to open a 30-spot daycare.

Church officials continue to search for a director, though no timeframe for the opening of that daycare has been announced.