As the EDA Board continues to pursue its number one goal for the year 2017 and beyond, focusing on the downtown district—Main Street, the Board has accepted applications for EDA assistance through the Downtown Rehabilitation Improvement Program (DRIP), and the Interest Assistance Program, from three applicants. The application process, review, and acceptance have been taking place over the past couple of months. D & S Properties, Charles Kotton and Woodland Apartments are receiving assistance through these EDA programs to do rehabilitation work on three separate properties on Main Street and an apartment complex. This work is being done on building roofs, facades, windows and accesses. The Board is also currently considering a number of other properties within the downtown district that they might assist the property owners with improvements and/or rehabilitation work.

The EDA Board also passed a motion to work with Glen and Lisa Schuster on the purchase of the property on the southeast corner of Highways 4 and 14. A purchase agreement is currently in the works for this property. For informational purposes to the reader, the EDA Board has the authority to purchase property according to Minnesota State Statutes. The EDA also submits meeting minutes and agendas to the city council on a monthly basis so that the councilors are always informed of the business that the EDA Board is conducting. This information is also posted on the city website for each monthly meeting, as well for the general public to read.

I would just like to reiterate what I have said numerous times over the past months and years, and that is how great it is for our community to have the EDA Board that we have. Mike Carr, Kathy Haala, Dan Schmid, Mike Schmid, Joann Schmidt, Nathan Stevermer and Gary Windschitl are dedicated, forward thinking and frugal community supporters that freely give of their time to meet every month, and sometimes more, to think about these topics, discuss the situations and opportunities for Sleepy Eye and continue to move forward and be progressive as an EDA.

As we look back over the past years and see what this EDA has accomplished as a Board, along with the assistance of the business community here in Sleepy Eye, it is truly amazing.

They have implemented and distributed financial assistance to 39 businesses through the Capital Loan Improvement Program, the Downtown Rehabilitation Improvement Program, the Revolving Loan Fund, and the EDA Sign and Awning Program. They have assisted these local businesses in implementing and using these programs. They were instrumental in getting the YES Team information introduced to the two high schools, the development and completion of Veterans Park, the On the Job Training (OJT) program, and the Learning Tree Early Childcare Center. The EDA has also had a hand in getting the hotel reestablished, the event center established, and had an involvement in the businesses that are currently located in the Snow Addition. Thank you to this group for their dedication, time and efforts.

Are there empty buildings? Or, buildings filled with opportunities? Is there still work to do? You better believe it! The EDA will continue to work on the many opportunities that present themselves with business and industry here in Sleepy Eye. They will continue to focus on the downtown, and all around the community, to provide assistance in business and economic development, rehabilitation and services.