October EDA meeting report

Kurk Kramer, EDA Coordinator, City
Sleepy Eye

The October EDA meeting started with financial reports on the Revolving Loan, Downtown Rehab Improvement Program, and Sign & Awning Program. I explained that the Revolving Loan Fund is currently at five active loans being repaid, and that there is one RLF loan that is currently in bankruptcy proceedings—the former Jimmy’s Pizza property (136 Main Street West). It was also noted that three of the Rehab Loans were paid off this past month. This leaves a remaining 10 active DRIP loans currently in use and current on amortization scheduled repayments. There are currently two additional DRIP applications that have been submitted for use in 2021. The EDA Sign and Awning Program had two recipients in 2020, with two applications submitted for 2021. This all reflects information that is positive in the fact that loans are getting repaid, that our local EDA has active programs fulfilling the EDA mission, and new applicants are using the EDA resources in our community.

I also provided the Board with a breakdown of loan repayments for the RLF and DRIP funds. It is a breakdown of each individual RLF and DRIP Fund payments, along with the interest that was earned for each fund beginning in 2015. Written reports from the EDA, Chamber, and St. Peter Business Services (Little Sprouts consultant) were also accepted.

Old business discussion included the following: possible incubator spaces in the community center, CARES Act Grant Applications, Blaalid’s Park Pizza bankruptcy proceedings, redevelopment of the former Orchid Inn property, and community housing.

•The plans on possible scenarios for incubator spaces in the community center have not moved forward yet, due to not receiving some virtual office scenarios to consider.

•There were 21 CARES Act grant applicants that were approved for grants in the amount of $4,000 each.

•The EDA holds a second position on the 136 Main Street West property that is currently in bankruptcy proceedings. The EDA has requested a general business plan be submitted prior to signing a mortgage release, to ensure that the building will not remain vacant or become a storage unit. This would be a detrimental result compared to what forward progress has been made with numerous properties on Main Street and conflicts with the EDA’s Mission Statement.

•The EDA Board has been presented with some voiced interest in the possibility of purchasing the former Orchid Inn property, however, the interest has not been very evident recently. In any case, the Board continues to examine how the DEED programs can be used to take care of the asbestos abatement, demolition, and redevelopment of that property.

•The final topic was the current need for housing in the community. There has been some preliminary discussion of meeting with the local HRA Board and bring the discussion to the table between the two organizations. I look forward to reporting on what the EDA and HRA might consider addressing regarding this issue.

The New Business main topic of discussion was to begin brainstorming topics for the upcoming Annual EDA Board Planning Meeting in January. There was also a request from the mayor and city manager to begin discussing a five-year plan for the EDA that can be used when working on upcoming goal setting and budget discussions.

Finally, there are still discussions taking place regarding the former Del Monte facility and other property. When details can be made public, I look forward to sharing the 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 eda@sleepyeye-mn.com