New homes coming to Rose Creek lots

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 24, 2001

ROSE CREEK – The next sound to be heard in Rose Creek will be that of earth-moving machines and carpenters’ nail guns.

Thursday, May 24, 2001

ROSE CREEK – The next sound to be heard in Rose Creek will be that of earth-moving machines and carpenters’ nail guns.

Email newsletter signup

A building boom is about to take place in the community.

Rose Creek city officials conducted groundbreaking ceremonies Tuesday night for Thill’s Creek View Addition, a residential development along Highway 56 that will accommodate 49 lots.

It is the biggest project of its kind in Rose Creek’s history. Previously, the 26-lot Park View Addition was the city’s largest residential development.

In both cases, one man, Jack Thill, was responsible for the projects.

The Park View Addition – so-named for its location across Highway 56 from the Rose Creek City Park – is home to Woody’s bar and restaurant, Rose Haven apartments and 23 homes. Only three lots remain undeveloped since the residential subdivision was developed in the early 1960s.

This time, Thill is teaming with Rose Creek city officials for a major residential subdivision project that is one of the largest single-family residential projects of its kind in the area.

The project is designed to meet housing needs in the community and serve as a viable option for families and others who commute to work in nearby Austin or Rochester.

Not only does Rose Creek have a lot to offer in the community, but its location to other communities also makes it popular.

"I was born and raised in this area and I love the small town way of life," Thill said. "There’s really not much room for expansion in the community, but this will take care of that need.

"People like to live in small towns and raise their families or to retire and Rose Creek has a lot to offer them," Thill said.

According to Mayor Pete Kuhlman, in return for extending city water and sewer services to the addition, Thill will develop the 40 acres into prime real estate property.

"The first phase of the project will include 25 lots and the second, 24," Kuhlman said. "We needed something like this, because the town is filling up and there just isn’t much room for residential lots."

Bendtsen praised the Rose Creek City Council – Wendell Sprung, Bob Gilles, Joyce Edland and Kent Ulwelling – for their aggressive pursuit of the latest housing development proposal.

The city will provide 60 percent of the infrastructure costs (mainly water and sewer plus a compacted gravel road) and Thill the rest. The city is funding its share of the costs with general obligation bonds. No price-tag was placed on the project.

Work begins May 29 and the contractor retained by the city must complete water and sewer work by Sept. 1. That means, the first home can be built this fall.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s tabulations, Rose Creek’s population actually dipped from 363 in 1999 to 354, a 2.48 percent decline. However, city officials and developer Thill expect the town’s population to grow now that housing options are available.

"I think one of our real assets is Southland Elementary School," said Wendell Sprung, a council member. "That should attract families who want the small-town way of life, but a school for their children. Rose Creek has that."

Sprung, who operates his own auto repair business in the community, is a member of the Prairie Visions organization, which is working to promote the quality of life for Rose Creek, Adams, Taopi and LeRoy and the rural areas around the four communities.

"Rose Creek is located along the Scenic Byway Wildflower Route and Highway 56 and the county highways give us good access to wherever we want to go," Sprung said.

Janet Nelsen, city clerk-treasurer, said there are other attractions to make Rose Creek the community of choice for new residents. She pointed to the town’s grocery store, Brenda’s, Randy Hemenway’s Last Chance restaurant, Mark and Patty Conradt’s Rose Creek Locker Service, Ulven Hardware and Dave’s Plumbing and Heating as some examples of a group of core businesses to serve residents.

In addition, Northern Country Co-op’s elevator, Stroup Bros. Distributing, Quality Radiator Service, Woody’s bar and restaurant and Route 56 service station and convenience store under Eric Hollerud’s new ownership add to the business opportunities.

Farmers State Bank of Adams has a branch in Rose Creek and J. D. Driver Construction is the second largest employer behind Southland Elementary School.

St. Peter’s Catholic Church and a post office also offer their amenities to residents.

Plus, a huge city park with volleyball, softball, tennis and various play equipment, plus pavilion and tables for picnics is still another asset.

The Creek Club, an organization of local community boosters, works hard to promote the community and sponsors the annual Rose Creek Fun Days celebrations scheduled July 14 and 15 this year.

Founded in 1867, Rose Creek is one of Mower County’s oldest communities.

Other residential development projects have been discussed in recent years. Dean Ulwelling, now a council member, attempted to push a project to fruition when he was mayor of the community. The Thill-owned property was annexed into the city in the mid-1990s, but negotiations did not begin with the developer and the city on the current 49-lot project until September 1999.

A year later, the engineering firm of Jones, Haugh & Smith had performed site work and a preliminary plat was ready.

Now, the former farmstead of Richard Holms is about to be transformed into a residential community within Rose Creek’s confines.

"That 40 acres has been in demand over the years," Thill admitted. "I’ve had several inquiries about buying it, but never wanted to sell it until the right idea came along. This is it. This is something Rose Creek and all of Mower County needs. There’s a housing shortage in Austin and here is another place to consider building a home."

The lots will be large, ranging from a half-acre to three-quarters of an acre. Lot prices will range from $10,000 to $20,000 each depending on size.

A stand of trees surrounds the addition, which will be accessed from Mower County CSAH No. 4.

"We’ve already had a lot of interest expressed in building in Rose Creek and now I think that interest will only grow because we’re actually moving forward with the city’s assistance and doing something," Bendtsen said. "As soon as the development starts, it will take off."

"The people of Rose Creek should be thankful this project has a guy like Thill behind it," Mayor Kuhlman said. "Without him, this project wouldn’t be possible."

"I’m just a rural-type person, who believes Rose Creek and small towns like it have a lot to offer," said Thill, a former farm implement dealer and now the owner of Tradexpos in Austin.

For more information, contact Thill at 437-4697 or Dean Bendtsen at 437-6050. Also, Janet Nelsen, Rose Creek city clerk and treasurer, can supply information at city hall at 437-6105.

Whalen has project, too

Dave Whalen, a local plumbing and heating contractor, has a housing project of his own in the works.

Whalen is developing six lots in Schammel Addition along Highway 56 and near Southland Elementary School in Rose Creek.

He has purchased four homes from the city of Austin that were residences along Mower County CSAH No. 3 and in the path of the city’s airport expansion project.

Plans call for moving the homes to Rose Creek, placing them on foundations with full basements and adding attached garages.

When Whalen is through, the homes will be ready for occupancy.

The two other lots will be available for home construction when purchased.

Work on the lots and moving the homes to Rose Creek will begin later this spring.

Whalen is the owner of Dave’s Plumbing and Heating.

For more information about the housing options in Schammel Addition, call 433-1039.

Call Lee Bonorden at 434-2232 or e-mail him at