Archives for October 2016

Stewartville, MN Receives Two Grants to Purchase and Install Handicap Accessible Playground Equipment

The City of Stewartville, MN is widely known for its variety of scenic and well-designed parks that are located throughout the community. City officials and staff have developed and cared for the touted amenities as a large part of their efforts to continuously promote community vitality and quality of life for the City’s 6,252 residents, regional visitors, and local businesses. Due to the dedication of City staff, CEDA team member Joya Stetson and the City’s forward-thinking Park Board, in the spring of 2017, children requiring handicap accessible playground equipment will be able to utilize the facilities. meadowsouth-2335

Stetson, who serves the City’s Economic Development Authority, worked closely with Finance Director Barb Neubauer in successfully authoring grants to assist with the project’s completion. The City received $1,000 from Kwik Trip and $1,000 from People’s Energy Cooperative’s Operation Round Up® program.

The Park Board identified the need for accessible playground equipment due to the fact that none of the City’s parks currently contain handicap accessible equipment. “These parks are all open to the public, and it is important to the City and its respective boards that all families within the community have access to viable options for outdoor play and recreation,” said City Administrator Bill Schimmel.  The Park Board has expressed a willingness to explore expanded plans that would include additional accessible equipment to better serve all community members and users.

Relevantly, enrollment in the Stewartville, MN school district and early childhood programs has been steadily increasing.  Numbers are presently totaling 2,461 students. The need for this project was further evidenced by the number of individuals who would directly benefit. According to 2016 numbers, the Stewartville school district serves 282 students in its special education department.  Of this number, 10-20% possess physical impairments and 55 enrollees are considered to be severely multiply impaired.

The City will add two ADA compliant, handicap accessible swings, footings, and compressed depth engineered wood fiber surfacing next year. The equipment has been purchased, and installation will occur in early 2017.


CEDA Communities Celebrate Manufacturing Week


October 2-8, 2016 was designated as Minnesota Manufacturing Week.  Statewide, businesses were recognized for their contributions to the local economies.  Many CEDA representatives organized public events to showcase these “made in Minnesota” producers and their State and respective community’s appreciation.  Among those participating were: Blooming Prairie, MN; Chatfield, MN; Claremont, MN; Harmony, MN; Lake City, MN; Lewiston, MN; Preston, MN and Stewartville, MN.

The Blooming Prairie, MN Annual Manufacturers’ Luncheon was hosted on October 5 jointly by the City’s Economic Development Authority and Chamber of Commerce. Attendees heard from Workforce Development, Inc. on trends in the area workforce and tools available to assist in growing talent in a competitive environment. At the event, certificates of recognition from the Minnesota Governor’s Office were presented to six local manufacturers. Click here for more on this story.

Chatfield, MN distributed certificates of recognition from Governor Dayton’s office to local manufacturers in order to emphasize his appreciation for their contribution to the local and State economy.  CEDA team member Chris Giesen visited Strongwell of Chatfield, Tuohy Furniture, EZ Fabricating and Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories.

On October 13, Claremont, MN Economic Development Authority Board member Romell Matejcek and CEDA team member Tom Monson visited three local manufacturers. Each manufacturer was presented with a certificate of recognition from the Minnesota Governor’s Office. The businesses were thanked for their investments in the community. All three manufacturers are in the midst of planned site expansions.

CEDA team member Chris Giesen visited local businesses in Harmony, MN to appreciate manufacturers in the community with certificates of recognition from the Minnesota Governor’s office. Solberg Welding and Harmony Enterprises were the recipients of these certificates.

A public celebration of all of Lake City, MN manufacturers was held at Lake City City Hall on Monday, October 3. The event, which was hosted by CEDA team member Lisa Babington, included a presentation of certificates of recognition signed by Governor Mark Dayton for all Lake City manufacturers, and a special presentation on Pepin Heights Orchards’ history and accomplishments.

Lewiston, MN acknowledged PlastiCert and Riverside Electronics during Manufacturing Week 2016. CEDA team member Sam Smith, who serves the City of Lewiston’s Economic Development Authority, will be presenting certificates of recognition from Governor Dayton’s office in the coming weeks alongside City officials.

Preston, MN manufacturers and agri-businesses were recognized with certificates of recognition from Governor Dayton’s office at Preston City Hall by the City’s Economic Development Authority in a ceremony led by CEDA team member Cathy Enerson. Attendees received valuable information about DEED grants for various types of training programs, State and USDA Value Added Producer Grant information, and sales tax rebate programs.

The City of Stewartville, MN visited each of its six local manufacturers to deliver certificates of recognition from Governor Dayton’s office.  CEDA team member Joya Stetson along with City staff and other attendees also emphasized the Economic Development Authority’s appreciation of manufacturing employees with large vinyl banners. The excitement of the event attracted attention from KTTC and Rochester Rising who each produced pieces on the City’s creative efforts:

Goodhue County Collaborates with CEDA to Host 8th Annual EDA Summit

Location: Zumbrota VFW (25 E 1st St, Zumbrota, MN)
Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Time: 8:00 a.m. – Noon
Cost: FREE

The Goodhue County Economic Development Authority (EDA) and Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) are planning to host the 8th Annual Goodhue County EDA Summit. This event will emphasize the importance of arts as an economic driver and discuss the workforce shortage experienced by the County, region, and State as a whole.

The arts have been recognized to be a huge driver of economic development in their ability to generate revenue, jobs, tourism, and community engagement. Last year’s summit indicated that there was significant interest in exploring the analytical and anecdotal benefits of capitalizing on the assets that artists and art organizations create.

This year’s summit will feature presentations from relevant organizations such as the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and relevant regional artists and art professionals.

The Goodhue County EDA is confident that this event will serve as an effective forum to discuss pertinent issues, ideas, and opportunities within the County. Furthermore, the summit will encourage professionals to learn, communicate, and network with individuals and organizations in possession of diverse knowledge and experience.

This event is free and open to the public.

If you would like to attend, please RSVP by contacting (507)867-3164 or [email protected]

You may also visit the event’s page at:

Claremont, MN Awarded a $500,000 CEDA Authored Business Development Public Infrastructure grant

Article by Tom Monson

Claremont, MN was awarded a $500,000 Business Development Public Infrastructure grant for street improvements to help facilitate a $146 million expansion by Al-Corn Clean Fuel. The improvements to 5th Street – which functions as a frontage access to the ethanol plant – are estimated to be $1.128 million to resurface and add a truck lane to the road. Claremont also approved a Tax Increment Financing District with a projected value of $1.3 million for the project. Additionally, the City is waiting for a decision on final approval on $590,000 of Rural Economic Development Loan money revolved by Steele-Waseca Cooperative Electric. The expansion is expected to create at least 8 full time equivalent jobs and over 300 construction jobs during the two year building phase. The project is estimated to add $7 million in assessed tax base to the City and $14 million to the County.

CEDA team member Tom Monson authored the grant and loan applications and coordinated with Mike Bubany of David Drown Associates to structure the Tax Increment Financing deal..

Houston County Regional Tourism Discussion set for October 6th

Article by Courtney Bergey

CEDA employee Courtney Bergey, who is currently serving the Houston County Economic Development Authority, is developing a regional tourism and marketing initiative in collaboration with community leaders from Houston County. The goal is to build capacity and develop practical ways for local businesses, nonprofits, and government bodies to tell their stories to potential visitors and residents. Courtney is working with ExploreMN and the U of M Extension Center for Community Vitality to shape the project.

An initial meeting was held in Hokah, MN in July 2016, with participation from over 20 elected officials, business owners, nonprofit leaders, and citizens interested in promoting Houston County. You can read more about the meeting from the Caledonia Argus and the Houston County News.

The second regional meeting will be held on Thursday, October 6th from 9:00-10:30 AM at Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove, MN. To find out more and RSVP,visit the Eventbrite page: