Archives for January 2017

Envirolastech Breaks Ground in St. Charles, MN

Article by: Cris Gastner

A snowy December day did not chill the excitement and enthusiasm as recycled materials manufacturer Envirolastech, Inc. broke ground on their new $3 million facility in St. Charles. The groundbreaking marks the culmination of efforts to assist the company in locating its first manufacturing plant in the community.

CEDA Sr. Vice President Cris Gastner has worked with company officials on behalf of the City over the last year to assist in putting together a financial incentive package that would allow the project to move forward. “Several partners had to come together to assist in making this project a reality.” Gastner said “The company was able to find its primary financing, but a number of other entities had to step up to get this project to the construction phase.”

Gastner assisted company officials in securing a $60,000 gap financing loan through CEDA in addition to an $183,766 award from the Job Creation Fund through DEED. Winona County has also approved a $150,000 revolving loan and the Southern MN Initiative Foundation has approved a $100,000 revolving loan for the project as well. Earlier in 2016, Gastner worked with the City’s EDA and City Council to include a four acre parcel of land as part of the incentive package for the company as well. The company hopes to have the plant complete and operational in early spring 2017.

CEDA Staff Helping to Create Smiles in Eyota, MN

Article by: Cathy Enerson

In June of 2016, the Post Bulletin ran a story about Eyota’s lack of a dental practice and its EDA’s plan to attract one. Cathy Enerson of CEDA, who serves as the economic development staff for Eyota, notes “People are reading the newspaper. Several dentists and dental students responded to the article by inquiring through the city website about the opportunity”. Dr. Phillip Perry, owner of Perry Dental in Wabasha, acted fast and optioned to purchase a building suited for opening a dental practice. Dr. Perry credits the Post Bulletin article with drawing the need to his attention.

The City of Eyota has recently approved a final incentive package for Dr. Perry to open a practice in Eyota in early 2017. The practice will include both full service dentistry and orthodontic services. Eyota’s previous dentist retired several years ago.  Eyota’s Mayor, Tyrel Clark, said “The city has been without a dentist for approximately 10 years. The nearest dental practice to the city is about 10 miles away in either Elgin or St. Charles.”

Enerson and the Eyota Economic Development Authority worked closely with Dr. Perry and recommended to the Eyota City Council to approve $25,000 in loans from two separate EDA funds along with a $15,000 forgivable loan from Eyota’s Rochester Sales Tax funds.

The EDA funds will help the new business purchase the building where the practice will be located and dental office equipment. “It really helps the first few months after opening,” Perry said. “We’re starting from square one, which isn’t done very much anymore because of the high costs of starting a new business.”  The practice will be open two days a week to start until the Perry’s build up their clientele.

The EDA developed a strategic plan for using the Rochester Sales Tax funds and the development of a commercial building to attract health care professional is goal number one. Data indicating the types of community health care needs was collected through a community health care needs assessment. The survey, conducted by the EDA, saw 52% of area residents respond.  Dr. Perry is willing to lease an area within the building for an additional health service business such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, or clinic.

CEDA Receives Grants to Start Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory

Article by: Tom Monson

Starting a farm can be daunting; doubly so when language barriers compound with market challenges like land access. At least that’s what the AgStar team has been finding while working with clients in Emerging Farmers lending program. Identifying farmable land access as a strategic bottleneck, AgStar Financial Services reached out to CEDA to help tackle this issue. Subsequently, the CEDA team applied to the AgStar Rural Impact Grant and on August 27, 2015, was awarded $50,000. CEDA also partnered with AgStar to apply for an AgriBank partnership match grant, and were awarded $15,000 more. This $65,000 budget was matched by over 400 hours of research over 16 months developing a solution. That solution has become the Publicly Owned Farmable Land Inventory – the first of its kind, which holds an inventory of over 14,000 parcels and 1 million acres across Minnesota.

Through its partnership with AgStar, CEDA has entered into strategic resource networks for emerging farmers across the state. Aiming to help others access this alliance of capable organizations, CEDA has also made its Resources Inventory available which lists relevant service providers with their contact information. In order to help emerging farmers navigate an ever-changing environments, CEDA is committed to continuously helping emerging farmers and improving this new tool. Our resources are freely available on the CEDA website under “Land Inventory.”

If you have land you would like included or removed from the Land Inventory, please fill out the Farmable Publicly Owned Vacant Land Form. Questions, suggestions, and forms can be sent to [email protected].