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Humboldt owes much to the Nielsens
March 28, 2019

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Anyone working up a sweat in the new Humboldt Recreation Center is making good use of what's perhaps the biggest gift that community has ever received.

The Ken and Marilyn Nielsen family paid for the multi-million dollar facility and then gave it to the city of Humboldt.

''There's no way the city would have been able to pull off something to this extent or even come close without the generosity of the Nielsen family,'' City Administrator Travis Goedken said. ''We wouldn't have been able to do anything near this.''

The 71,000 square foot facility clearly cost millions of dollars to build and equip. The Nielsen family has declined to say how much was spent.

The city government spent about $500,000 to run water and sewer lines to the site on Wildcat Road. A $500,000 price tag is usually huge, but in this case it seems like spare change when compared to what the Nielsen family apparently spent to support the community.

After about a year of construction, the center opened in December 2018. It features an indoor track, two basketball courts, batting cages, two racquetball courts, a weight room, a cardio fitness room, a CrossFit area, a spin studio, a children's room, locker rooms, a kitchen, and a small conference room. The city's recreation director has an office in the center.

Building the recreation center may well be the biggest single thing the Nielsens have done for their community, but they have a track record of doing things for others, especially through 4-H. They sponsor the First Year 4-H Member Award. They also started a farm safety training program in Humboldt County for 4-H members. The Nielsens are known as supporters of the Humboldt County Fair.

They were inducted into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame in 2005.

The couple owns and operates K.C. Nielsen Ltd., a John Deere dealership based in Humboldt that also has locations in Harcourt, Kanawha, Laurens, Woolstock, Manson, Algona, Buffalo Center, Estherville, Titonka and West Bend.

The care for their community exhibited by the Nielsens should be an example for everyone. We thank them for giving the people of Humboldt a fantastic recreation center, and for all of their efforts for 4-H members.

And we urge the people of Humboldt to take advantage of their new recreation center.

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