Archives for February 2018

CEDA Team Member Helping to Bring Dog Park to Lewiston, MN

Article by: Rebecca Charles

CEDA team member Rebecca Charles, who serves the City of Lewiston, MN, has been working closely with a Lewiston-Altura High School student to offer a new amenity to local residents of the community.

Dog parks are an increasingly popular amenity request in communities of various sizes, and can be a differentiating factor for pet owners looking to relocate. As a part of a Girl Scout Gold Award project, Allison Bronk, Lewiston resident and Senior at the Lewiston-Altura High School recently made a proposal to the City of Lewiston to add a dog park to the community.  The student approached the Lewiston Economic Development Authority (EDA) to formally request funds to pay for a mandatory land survey.  The land survey is needed to acknowledge the boundaries of the lots which will be used for the dog park.  All other required funding for the project has been raised by the student.

Rebecca Charles of CEDA worked with the student and the EDA to understand the community’s role and inherent benefit of the project and to select an appropriate proposal for the survey.  The City of Lewiston’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved funding for a land survey to be performed at the site of the old city pool for the creation of the new dog park.  The survey will be completed by Kleinschmidt Surveying of Winona.  Work is expected to be completed in mid-February of 2018.

The City of Lewiston is excited about the expanding local amenities that they are able to offer all of its citizens.  These developments are only possible because of the motivated and creative members of the community.

Dodge County Receives $135,450 CEDA-Authored MnDOT Grant

Article by: Tom Monson

Dodge County, MN was recently awarded a $135,450 Transportation Economic Development grant by MnDOT to make safety improvements to MN State Highway 56 in partnership with Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc.

The CEDA authored grant award will pay for 70% of proposed improvements to build turn and bypass lanes on the highway just south of Dodge Center. Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc. will pay the 30% match, including engineering and right of way costs. The company also anticipates the traffic improvements will result in 55 additional FTE jobs created by 2022.

Con-Tech Manufacturing, Inc. CFO, Troy Stafford highlighted, “our biggest reason for the project was for community and employee safety which complements being good stewards in the community in which we operate.”

The partnership between Dodge County, Con-Tech Manufacturing, and MnDOT is an exciting example of CEDA’s regional, collaborative role.

Eyota, MN Assists New Childcare Center

Article by: Cathy Enerson

The City of Eyota, MN recognized the local and regional need for area child care, and is working with a local business to help solve the shortage in their community.

CEDA team member Cathy Enerson who serves the City of Eyota has been working with the City’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) to provide gap financing and business planning assistance to a current in-home provider looking to expand her local business from an in-home day care with 12 slots to a 96-slot, 6,000 square foot childcare center. This business, Little Eagles Childcare Center, is the second center to commence operation in the City, and research estimates that its service will satisfy approximately 46% of the community’s deficit.  Enerson noted that because child care is a key part of community infrastructure, the EDA Board was immediately interested in providing assistance.

The project has involved several partner organizations to ensure its completion and overall success:

Financing for the total project cost of $1,035,000 was provided cumulatively by Home Federal Savings and Loan, Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, People’s Energy Cooperative, and the Eyota EDA. The City of Eyota also provided one acre of land and upfront tax increment financing to assist with financing.

Necessary research and resources were partially gleaned from First Children’s Finance of Minnesota, the State of Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), and Minnesota’s Center for Rural Policy and Development.

Design services were completed by Urban Design Studio, and project’s selected general contractor was TLS Companies, LLC.

Tracey Krucker and Trisha King, the owners of Little Eagles Childcare Center, shared that “without the partners and the counseling [they] received, a small business with limited capital feels stuck. Working with [these] partners made all the difference. [They] are realizing [their] dreams, and look forward to taking care of children in the community.”

Little Eagles Childcare Center broke ground on November 20th, and plans to open in May of 2018.

An extensive waiting list for all ages as already been acquired with minimal advertising, and the owners are optimistic about their long-term success in Eyota.