ST. PAUL (WJON News) -- A number of small Minnesota communities will benefit from $24-million in Small Cities Development Program grants to upgrade public facilities, rehabilitate commercial properties, or otherwise drive economic development.

A total of 36 cities, townships, and counties are getting the grants which are a part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Block Grant Program and distributed by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

In central Minnesota, the cities of Brooten and Randall will each receive $600,000 for public facility improvements. Watkins will get $943,000 for the rehab of an owner-occupied housing and commercial property.

The Small Cities Development Program grants are awarded to Minnesota cities with fewer than 50,000 residents and townships and counties with populations under 200,000.

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