New faces for familiar places

Three months after its approval by the city council, the Hospitality Industry COVID-19 Response Grant Program has led to noticeable changes, including this new sign at Wahpeton Deli & Eatery.

Wahpeton restaurants are showing their good sides this summer.

Three months after its approval by the city council, the Hospitality Industry COVID-19 Response Grant Program has led to noticeable changes in Wahpeton. While the full number of grant recipients is not yet known, two family-owned restaurants have come forward to talk about their successes with the program.

“I just wanted to thank you all for the grant,” Jerry Prante said when the Wahpeton City Council met Monday, July 6. “There were a lot of things that got done this year.”

Prante’s, Wahpeton, used its grant for parking lot improvements. Prante said he wanted to show his appreciation for the city officials that worked to provide grants.

“I’m glad your doors are still open,” Councilman at-large Lane Wateland said.

Wahpeton Deli & Eatery recently updated its exterior signage. Dean Twidwell is proud that grants were available for beautification purposes. The deli’s new sign also signifies a new attitude.

“The word ‘video’ was a part of our sign before,” Twidwell said. “It’s just a no-brainer to refocus on the deli, on what’s most popular.”

Restaurants and other hospitality businesses were able to receive funding from the city of Wahpeton. Up to $10,000 each out of up to $100,000 total was allocated for improvements to be made.

“The money is earmarked as grants rather than forgivable loans and would come from city funds for economic development,” Daily News previously reported.

Some restaurants applied for the grants but have not yet submitted their receipts, Wahpeton Community Development Director Chris DeVries said. He hopes to have a complete list of grant recipients by August.

“A variety of projects were accomplished through hospitality grants during this pandemic,” DeVries said. “To this point, we don’t know of any businesses in Wahpeton closing due to COVID-19 and that’s terrific news.”

Wahpeton Deli & Eatery’s new signage looks nice, Twidwell said, and so do the changes made in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We made improvements,” he said. “When COVID is over, we’ll (already) have a different way of doing things. It works. We’re spread out and safe.”

In other news, the city council unanimously approved Wahpeton Police Chief Scott Thorsteinson’s requests for upcoming downtown street closures.

The Second Annual Borderline Chalkfest public art festival will be held in Wahpeton from Saturday, July 18-Sunday, July 19. Once again, Fourth Avenue North will be closed to vehicles between Dakota Avenue and Second Avenue North.

North Dakota State College of Science’s homecoming parade is scheduled for the morning of Saturday, Sept. 26. The parade, which traditionally begins in Breckenridge, Minnesota, will travel down Dakota Avenue to Ninth Street North, Wahpeton.

Wahpeton residents and visitors are reminded that calling 701-553-8600 and entering the code 19001 allows them to attend a city council or committee meeting via telephone.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. Monday, July 20 at Wahpeton City Hall and telephonically.

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