June EDA Board meeting report

Kurk Kramer, EDA Coordinator, City
Sleepy Eye
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The June EDA Board Meeting began with a discussion with Brown County Commissioner Dean Simonsen. The Mayor and Board invited Commissioner Simonsen to the meeting to discuss the extended time it has taken to try and get something accomplished with some of the properties in town. Commissioner Simonsen had done some calling, and with the information I had provided him prior to our meeting, came back with the acknowledgment that the county should be able to clean up the Standard Station property, but that it might take time as certain office staffs were swamped and that a Sheriff’s sale might be the best route to go. Several EDA Board members informed Commissioner Simonsen that this had been the same excuse given to these requests going back to 2014. He was also informed of two other properties with a lengthy wait time that were holding up property owners from better utilizing the sites. The Commissioner was not aware how lengthy of an issue this has been and recommended writing a letter from the City to all the Commissioners to request this, and other properties within the city limits to be expedited. He felt this would hold more weight than just him alone expressing this concern. The Mayor and City Manager agreed to compose a letter to send, and if need be, request to be added as an agenda item on a future County Commissioner’s Meeting, to discuss in more detail. We will see how this progresses.

The Financial Reports were presented for all the active EDA Programs and Resources.

I presented some updated information on the status of the pocket park area on the corner of Highways 4 and 14. We are working with adjoining property owner, Matt Mages, on the electrical hookup route from the back alley to the park. Michael Sprenger suggested leaving the curved half wall at its current height (plus the cap) due to safety concerns on something higher. Jon Hanson is waiting for the go ahead with the sprinkler system to be installed. I also walked through the west side of Matt‘s building with him and he explained the possible space for an incubator or start up business location. Other than some basic aesthetics the space would be move-in ready. The Board would like me to get more details in regards to a rental price for the space, the square footage available, and time frame for availability. When this information is determined the Board can discuss options for supporting a new business startup and the financial aspects that will need to be considered.

I shared with the Board some preliminary information on a couple of other businesses that I have been in contact with, and hopefully I will be able to present more details as things begin to move forward with them.

The City Attorney continues to wait for a response from the attorney in Mitchell, S. D. to finalize the title work on the cemetery property. It appears that the attorney in Mitchell does not have this high on his priority list as finalization of the sale continues to drag on.

The final topic of discussion at our June meeting was a request from Clete and Jan Zinniel, CJT Enterprises, regarding their Small Cities Development Program Loan. The EDA Board has made a recommendation to the City Council that the remaining loan amount be paid prior to the sale of the building, and then the grant portion would be forgiven upon the loan being paid in full. This is how the note was drafted, except for the fact of the time frame. It is just being taken care of a few years quicker than was written.

As always, if you have any other questions, or want more information on current EDA activities please feel free to contact me, 507-794-5636 eda@sleepyeye-mn.com