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A Minnesota city near the Canadian border is hoping to woo new residents with free land and other perks. 

Middle River, which has a population of about 300, is north of Thief River Falls, between the Agassiz National Wildlife Refuge and the Thief Lake Wildlife Management Area. It's known as Minnesota's goose capital. 

To incentivize people to move to the northern Minnesota city, it is offering new residents a free 100-by-300-foot lot and a free building permit. It's part of the city's civic growth program that launched in 2018 and was expanded last year. 

This comes as Middle River's population has fallen by more than 50% since 1970, the Star Tribune says

Other perks include a one-year membership to the local Sportsman's Club, two years of water and sewer, three months of cable, free electric hook up, a $100 gift certificate to the local tavern and other local businesses, a free year subscription to the local newspaper, The Honker, and two one-day passes to Kick'n Up Kountry, among other freebies (see a list here).

 Middle River, which is about 5 1/2 hours from the Twin Ciites, also bought and turned its former school building into an Airbnb, in addition to hosting the annual Goose Fest in the fall, which includes dozens of activities.

Middle River isn't the only city that's offering incentives for people to move there. Bemidji launched a program last year to encourage telecommuters to move to the city. Bemidji is paying people up to $2,500 in relocation expenses, and other perks. And as of October 2021, 20 people had moved to Bemidji to take advantage of the offer. 

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