The October EDA Board meeting began with the approval of the minutes from the September meeting, and also the approval of the financial report for September.
The EDA has developed and implemented a new program to encourage downtown storefront revitalization and commercial rehab. Work continues with Southwest MN Housing, as we began the initial process of getting the residential and commercial rehab program started for 2014. The public informational meeting was held Oct. 10.
Thirty packets with information on both of these programs were distributed to downtown property owners. Homeowners in the target area are reminded and encouraged to submit their survey forms.
There have been some discussions, and also face to face meetings, with businesses who have submitted inquiries regarding the Snow property. There is ongoing work being done regarding this interest.
Veteran’s Park - The retaining wall is completed. The first 92 bronze plates have been installed on the Memorial Wall, and the second order has been submitted, however, they may not be able to be installed until spring since the temperature needs to be at least 60 degrees for the adhesive to work. Steve Joyce has done a large portion of the landscaping work along the west side of the park. Four trees and nine bushes have been planted, the plastic is down, and some of the rocks have been added. The Veteran’s Park Committee will be getting together to address a number of items that need to be planned and finalized including the kiosk, donor recognition, flags and additional concrete and paver work. There will be a dedication ceremony planned for the spring of 2014.
The OJT program has nearly completed semester one and planning and meetings for getting semester two up and running are beginning to take place. There were nine students and eight businesses involved in the program for semester one, and we have added two new businesses for semester two, and hope to add more students as well.
The board approved sending Kurk to the U of M Extension-Business Retention and Expansion Workshop on Nov. 12 in Hutchinson.
Kurk shared a DEED report on the local area unemployment and current employment statistics for the 10 Minnesota Economic Development Regions. Region 9, which Brown County is in, experienced some of the lowest unemployment numbers by comparison to the rest of the state.