Archives for May 2018

CEDA Team Member Helps Frazee, MN’s EDA Socialize

Article by: Reva Mische
Since starting their work with CEDA in February, the City of Frazee, MN has been busy with projects to strengthen and promote their Economic Development activities. CEDA team member Reva Mische who serves Frazee has made social media a priority to further the marketing activities of the EDA.
Through social media outlets, communities are able to connect with residents they may not otherwise be able to reach. For Frazee, creating an EDA Facebook page linked to their City website is the first step in growing their social media presence. While the Facebook page is still in its infancy, the City’s EDA has already experienced increased ease in providing updates on resources, programs, and events. The page also serves as a venue for highlighting area businesses, organizations, and community members. By connecting through social media with other area organizations, such as the Frazee Community Club, the EDA can reach a larger audience through content sharing and “likes.”
In addition to the shared content from other are organizations and businesses, content posted on the Frazee EDA’s Facebook page currently includes advertising the Comprehensive Plan update, the Frazee Community Home Improvement program, and available properties. Future content may include community projects, business incentive program offerings, community and business surveys, and other engagement opportunities. While all community and business members may not be subscribers to social media, this venue offers Frazee the ability to expand their Economic Development marketing while keeping costs low and content fresh.

The City of Jackson Receives $49,328 CEDA-Authored BDPI Grant

Article By: Thomas Nelson

The City of Jackson, MN was recently awarded a $49,328 Business Development Public Infrastructure (BDPI) grant to extend a water main located in an industrial park. Upon being awarded the grant the City Council voted to award the contract for the project which is scheduled to begin in the first week of May 2018. The project will extend a 10” water main approximately 1,200 feet looping the existing water main; weather dependent, the project will take approximately a week to complete.

This is the third BDPI grant that Jackson has received with the first two being in 2005 and 2011. Community and Economic Development Associates (CEDA) team member Thomas Nelson, who authored the grant application, is excited about the project and the impact it will have. “The BDPI grant program has been a huge benefit to Jackson and has helped to create a truly remarkable industrial park,” Nelson said. “This project will not only help to keep the roughly 2,000 jobs located in the industrial park but also help to create more in the future.” One example of future development in the industrial park is a 30,000-square foot speculative building that is nearing completion and is reliant on the extension to provide the necessary pressure for its fire suppression system.

The CEDA authored grant award will pay for 50% of proposed improvements in the industrial park located along Industrial Parkway in northwest Jackson, MN. The City of Jackson will pay for will pay the 50% match, including engineering, and admin cost. The project was estimated to cost $121,106.40 with $98,656.00 of the cost being eligible for BDPI matching funds. The City Council awarded the contract to Ground Water Management Incorporated of Brewster, MN for $62,870.94. With the bid coming in under the estimated cost the city will not need to use the full amount of the grant.

The water main extension will loop the existing water main in order to provide sufficient water pressure, specifically for fire suppression in support of existing and future, manufacturing, warehousing, and disruption businesses in the industrial park. The project will boost the industrial park’s water supply to support an estimated demand of 1,715 gallons per minute while leaving a nearby system pressure residual of 32 psi which will create an adequate supply for fire protection in the industrial park as it continues to grow.

Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram Automotive Dealership to Open along I-90 in St. Charles MN

Article by: Cris Gastner

The City of St. Charles and CEDA Senior Vice President, Cris Gastner worked with Chadwick Real Estate Services to negotiate the sale of 9.11 acres of land on Enterprise Drive in the city St. Charles, Minnesota.  Chadwick is representing Danmar Properties, LLC in its purchase of four (4) platted commercial lots located within the City’s Chattanooga Business Park, along Interstate 90 and Minnesota Highway 74.

Danmar is part of the family that owns Dodge of Burnsville, a large volume south metro dealer located on Interstate 35W and Cliff Road in Burnsville, MN. Danmar acquired the land to build a new, state of the art automotive dealership catering to families in the community and Interstate customers from surrounding states.  The first store, on the site, will feature Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram brands and include a Ram truck service center.

Chadwick Real Estate was enlisted by the Fiat Chrysler Automotive dealership group to perform development services, including a location search, which yielded the St. Charles site. “The City of St. Charles team did a great job of communicating with us, working with our requirements, and helping us bring the project through the City’s planning process quickly”. – Chad R. Wiech, Principal

Site work will likely begin in early July, 2018, with plans for the dealership to open within the year.

Blue Earth, MN Making Progress in “REV’ing Up” the Community

Article by: Mary Kennedy

Blue Earth, MN was among the five communities with populations of 5,000 or less selected to participate in the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation’s Rural Entrepreneurial Venture (REV). The REV model is based on The Center for Rural Entrepreneurship’s Energized Communities (e2) framework. REV is a unique, long-term commitment that focuses on developing processes and systems for sustainable economic growth. The program focuses on finding and igniting existing entrepreneurs within communities which helps the community grow from within.

Blue Earth’s REV program has been renamed BEA Rev’d Up and consists of a core team that is made up of City staff, local business owners, Chamber of Commerce representatives, EDA board members, a Community Coordinator, and CEDA team member Mary Kennedy who serves the City of Blue Earth. The structure of the program encourages the core group to identify the various businesses in the community to determine which definition of entrepreneur is most relevant to Blue Earth. Kennedy put together and organized an updated business inventory list in order for the group to have a clear idea of what businesses were in operation in Blue Earth. With that list, the group was able to identify five transitional businesses and five growth oriented businesses to target as the program moves forward. The core group is also tasked with planning a community event which will provide a chance to engage the public and inform local entrepreneurs of this exciting new opportunity. While the core group is still in the process of planning that event, the group realized an extra outreach opportunity.

With so many existing community groups and local networks such as Kiwanis and Lions, the group thought that having a representative attend those meetings would provide a great platform to begin informing the community and spreading the word about BEA Rev’d Up! Representatives of the core group are working to organize dates to attend monthly meetings and speak with the various local community groups. Additionally, the core group is working to form a Resource Team and an Outreach Team to assist in the implementation of the program. One of the strategies Kennedy has been tasked with is to attend a Blue Earth Area School Board meeting. This is with the intention to inform the board of the REV program as well as to share her experience meeting with the neighboring City of Fairmont’s Superintendent of Schools, Joe Brown. Kennedy met with Brown to discuss the emphasis his district has put on vocational education. Kennedy was able to tour Fairmont’s Saturday Welding Academy and share her thoughts with the Blue Earth EDA and REV core group. Many Blue Earth Area students head to Fairmont on Saturdays to take advantage of their welding class and facilities, however they are responsible for their own transportation. The EDA and REV program would like to partner to come up with a solution to sponsor the transportation. Both boards see the value in educating local youth for vocational sector jobs with the intention of connecting students with the necessary resources to keep them in the area for work and business start-up opportunities.