Article by Chris Giesen
The City of Elgin formally welcomed its newest business and latest economic development project at a ribbon cutting ceremony on January 30, 2012. Dr. Julee Kingsley and her three employees opened Elgin Family Dentistry’s doors in mid 2011, but January’s ribbon cutting was a big celebration for a rural community with big plans. In attendance at the ceremony was USDA Rural Development state director Colleen Landkamer, a representative from U.S. Senator Klobuchar’s office, a representative from U.S. Congressman Tim Walz’s office, MN DEED representatives, local elected officials, CEDA staff, and many others that made this project possible.
The City of Elgin, with the help of CEDA, secured a $396,000 Community Facility loan from the USDA to purchase the building Dr. Kingsley needed to open her practice. Having the city purchase the building and having Dr. Kingsley as a tenant was the key to making this project affordable so it could get off the ground. “We started looking at this project in early 2010,” said CEDA President/CEO Ron Zeigler, who also led the CEDA team for this project. “This was quite a unique project that involved not only many of our team members, but the Elgin EDA and city council, financial advisors, DEED, USDA, People’s Energy Cooperative, and even Congressman Walz himself. Without all of these people working together for Elgin, this project wouldn’t have happened.” he continued. “A special thanks to Mayor Rich Hall and city clerk Sue Cain who tirelessly championed for Dr. Kingsley’s project from the beginning; there were many scenarios to discuss and hurdles to overcome but with their leadership Dr. Kingsley was able to move forward.”