Article by Cathy Enerson
Preston’s National Trout Center heads into year three of operation and has graduated! Graduated meaning that the Center has successfully transitioned from a city-guided project into the hands of its new board of director’s. This board offers expertise in many of the development areas within the inner workings of the center. Accomplishing this step, the center reached a new milestone and was approved to become a 501C-3 non profit organization. The EDA will continue to work on land acquisition and the brownfield cleanup that is necessary for the center to locate along the Root River. In addition, the EDA assisted with the hiring a new program director, Karen Grimlund. Karen will kick off the season opener April 14th, at the Trout Center.
A lot of focus to date has centered on the elements required to successfully receive the requested 3.5 million dollars in state bonding funds. State Senator Jeremy Miller is carrying this project for Preston.
The University of Minnesota’s Design Team, through acquired grant funds, developed conceptual drawings for the Trout Center. The Trout Center was able to use these drawings at a recent bonding committee hearing at the Capitol in St. Paul. These drawings are an asset to the Center as it continues to move forward into its permanent home and location.
The EDA wrapped up 2011 by updating and converting the revolving loan fund guidelines, that were once a city ordinance into a policy. The 2012 housing incentive was implemented in April, and is off to a good start. The program will assist three rehabilitation housing projects, assist with three new homeowners moving to Preston, and with the building of three new homes.