Archives for December 2018

CEDA Staff Works With Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. to Finalize Purchase Agreement

Article by: Cris Gastner

Last Tuesday, the St. Charles, MN City Council unanimously approved a purchase agreement to sell a 6.83-acre lot in the Chattanooga Innovation Park along the north side of I-90 to Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc. for $683,000.

“I am very excited about this project,” said St. Charles City Administrator Nick Koverman. “It is a $14 million-plus project for our community.”

The company plans to build a truck stop and travel convenience store at the site. The project will likely include at least one national fast food chain restaurant within the travel plaza as well.

CEDA Sr. Vice President Cris Gastner and Koverman have been working with the company for several months on the details of the project and the agreement. “When they first approached us, we definitely did our due diligence,” Gastner said. “We talked to several other communities about travel plaza projects and got favorable comments back.”

Gastner noted that the 45-50 full-time equivalent positions it will take to run the business would likely make it the city’s third-largest employer after the school district and the city itself.

The lot purchased by Love’s is on the south side of the business park closest to Minnesota Highway 74 and Interstate 90. Construction on the project is projected to start in the spring of 2019.

CEDA Team Member Drafts New Beautification Program for Stewartville, MN Main Street

The City of Stewartville, MN’s Economic Development Authority (EDA) recently approved a new program to help Main Street business owners with beautification of their visible property exteriors. This important program was drafted by CEDA team member Joya Stetson with key review and input from City Finance Director Barb Neubauer and EDA Board members.

The new Main Street Exterior Beautification Program was created in response to the EDA’s Community Survey and input session results where citizens identified a significant desire to enhance and improve the outward appearance of Stewartville’s Main Street. The Program will offer a dollar-for-dollar match up to $5,000 for eligible, visible projects such as:

  • Painting of building exterior including necessary scraping, repairing and preparation for completion.
  • Pressure cleaning of building exterior.
  • Siding
  • Installations of planters that will enhance the property.
  • Permanent landscaping and green space.
  • Awnings and canopies (including the installation of new awnings and removal of deteriorating awnings and canopies).
  • Brick tuckpointing.
  • Installation of brick or stone onto building façade.
  • Repair and Installation of cornices, corbels and decorative details.
  • Exterior lighting.

Another notable piece of the Program’s construction is its duration.  In order to catalyze projects to make a more immediate impact, the program will only accept applications from January 1, 2019- July 31, 2019 (or until funds are exhausted). All projects that are approved must be completed by no later than December 31, 2019.

“The EDA is looking forward to launching this new tool in January,” Stetson commented. “We are thankful for the community-wide feedback that has led to the Program’s development and we’re pleased to be able to offer assistance consistent with the objectives of our residents and businesses.”