Corey Puliju: Proud Kensett mayor and Worth County resident

Corey Puliju: Proud Kensett mayor and Worth County resident Main Photo

7 May 2024

News, Blog

A self-described “transplant from Northfield, MN,” Kensett mayor Corey Puliju has dedicated nearly a decade to the small community, as well as Winnebago and Worth Counties. He is half-way through his second term as Kensett mayor and has served as the jailer for the Worth County Sheriff’s Office for two years.

In his free time, Puliju has dedicated much of his time volunteering for various organizations such as the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Caring Tree and Holiday for Hope.

Kensett: A Community That Doesn't Let It's Size Stop It

Small communities often lack the budget to accomplish major community developments, but Puliju does everything he can to best use the funds he has.

“We tend to have to pick and choose where our money gets spent very carefully so we don’t all the sudden have the unexpected happen, which in small towns, does happen where you have water mains break in the winter and you have to have emergency repairs,” said Puliju. “Our basic goal is to try to plan for the unexpected and hope it doesn’t happen.”

The City of Kensett recently received two grants to improve the community, including one to seal coat the Kensett Community Center parking lot and another to update the play equipment at Centennial Park.

The small community also boasts a number of small businesses and services that bring life to the town. It has seen growth within the last few years, with Bice Electric opening a location in the town, as well as R80, a locally-owned gas station and convenience store, opening up shop.

Winn-Worth Betco is the Key to Success

For 30 years, the Winnebago Worth Counties Betterment Council has been comprised of leaders from its 14 communities aiming to improve the quality of life of its residents through industry, business, housing and tourism. The collaboration of the two counties have allowed for each to lean on each other for support and growth.

“I think that the people who made Winn-Worth Betco had a very solid, innovative plan when they had the inception of this group,” said Puliju, who has served on the Winn-Worth Betco Advisory Board for the last six years. “It has grown to be a very powerful group of people doing some very amazing things. The organization has brought the two counties together to work as a cohesive unit.”

The council meets for quarterly sessions to discuss business and share the ongoings of their communities, such as projects, developments, events, financials and issues they may have encountered.

“For me, personally, coming to Winn-Worth Betco meetings, I get a lot out of hearing each community talk about what they have going on in their town and the problems they are having, and I’ve been able to bring those things back to Kensett,” Puliju said.

Worth County is a Place to Call Home

The fact that Worth County’s cost of living is just 78.2% of the national average is hardly the only reason that makes Worth County a desirable place to call home. Despite its population of roughly 7,000, its communities are rich with unique locally-owned businesses, lively annual events, beautiful parks and many historical museums.

“I think that Worth County as a whole is probably one of the most caring places that I have ever been,” Puliju said. “There’s like a core group of people here that are involved in just about all the charitable stuff that just makes a person want to belong.”

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