July EDA Board meeting report

Kurk Kramer
EDA Coordinator
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The EDA Board met on July 28.

The Financial Reports were presented for all the active EDA Programs and Resources. The Revolving Loan Fund continues to be repaid by five active loans, two of which are quickly approaching full repayment. The outstanding remaining balance on loans in that fund stands at approximately $140,000. The Downtown Rehab Program has 15 active loans, all are current and continue to be repaid on a consistent monthly schedule. The remaining balance on the loans in that program is approximately $220,000. So that means that there are over $350,000 EDA dollars that are at work in our business community here in Sleepy Eye.

The pocket park on the corner of Highways 4 and 14 is nearing completion. The back-retaining walls are finished with just a couple of blocks and caps yet to be installed along the southwest corner. Two stone planter bowls need to be installed on each end of the arched wall at the center of the property. All other greenery, shrubs, trees, and flowers have been planted. The waterlines for sprinkling the property have been installed. There remains just a little clean-up of rocks and topsoil installation, along with seeding of the grass, and the project should be completed. I have received numerous comments on the improvement of the aesthetics of that corner.

I continue to stay in contact with Matt Mages on the work being done on the building next to the pocket park, as the EDA considers it for possible location of a business incubator. The windows have been replaced as well as the old exterior plywood that was nailed around the building. The appearance of that building has seen a great improvement and can be added to the other group of business/property owners along and up and down Main Street who have taken pride in the appearance of their building, and have used their private and EDA dollars to rehab the appearance and condition of their properties. We certainly would like to see others who have buildings and property along our Main Street to take those examples and follow suit in showing pride and appreciation in the appearance of the downtown district. Beginning in 2021, the EDA will have funding available for building owners to do rehab work on their buildings should they choose to do so. The hope is they do!

The final topic I want to touch on from the July EDA Board Meeting is the Early Childhood Conference the EDA is assisting in funding for all early childcare providers in the 56085 zip-code. It is going to be held in cooperation with the New Ulm and Springfield EDAs on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center. It will include “The Kari & Tari Experience” and includes four hours of training, at no charge to the attendees. Pre-registration is required with no walk-ins available. Registration opened on Aug. 1 and spaces will be limited. There will be lunch and other items provided to the attendees at no cost. Our Sleepy Eye EDA believes this is a way to show our support and recognize the importance of ALL the early childcare providers here in our community. They provide a necessary service for so many families and businesses. Contact Brown County Human services for more information.

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 or eda@sleepyeye-mn.com