One of the Detour Dollars entry boxes to be used during the upcoming promotion.
One of the Detour Dollars entry boxes to be used during the upcoming promotion.
The Spring Grove EDA held its final "Main Street Marketing" meeting on April 23.

Beginning in May, members will address ongoing questions and provide direction for their "Detour Dollars" and "Spring Grove - Up and Running" advertising campaigns during their regular agenda.

MnDOT Engineer Mark Anderson attended the session, answering questions about detours, signage and the Highway 44/Main Street project in general.

Anderson reported that there will be signs at the junction of Highways 43 and 44 to the west of Spring Grove and 76 and 44 to the east indicating that even though 44 is detoured, Spring Grove businesses will still be accessible.

Besides the mill/overlay west of town, five box culverts will also be replaced this summer between Mabel and Canton, Anderson noted. That work will begin in June.

The Main Street corridor in Spring Grove will see a May 20 start date. The contract calls for work to be completed by Oct. 31.

Local graphic designer Robin Bartell (who is executing the ad campaigns) brought some novel ideas for consideration.

One is a series of "Burma Shave" type signs that can be placed along the local (Spring Grove) section of the detour route.

Anderson said that although the signs can't be placed in the DOT right of way, residential owners are free to allow them.

Bartell brought samples. One series of signs could read: "Scenic Detour, Short and Sweet, Needed For, A New Main Street, Spring Grove Businesses Welcome You."

The idea was got traction with members, who opted for two sets of the 24-inch square signs. Poster ads that would be placed in neighboring communities were also approved by consensus.

Advertising pkg. under budget

Spending for the overall advertising campaign was approved at a previous meeting, but treasurer J.C. Nerstad reported that the EDA is currently on track to spend only about half of the funding originally voted in.

"Detour Dollars" participating businesses are contributing enough towards that advertising blitz to pay for Spring Grove Dollars prizes, he added.

Originally estimated at $30,908, the twin ad campaigns are now projected to cost $14,666.

The first of 20 "Detour Dollars" drawings will be held May 22. The final will be for the grand prize of $4444. That event is scheduled for Oct. 5 during UffDa Fest.

Bartell brought one of the Detour Dollars entry boxes to the meeting for members to see.

Staffing issues discussed

During the regular EDA meeting, two votes were taken to address bookkeeping.

The first motion approved was to reimburse Nerstad for $150, which he paid accountant, Mellissa Schroeder, to prepare three reports earlier this year.

The second approved a proposal from Schroeder to continue doing the EDA's books on a monthly basis at a rate of $25 per hour.

Nerstad abstained from both votes, which were otherwise approved by a unanimous margin.

An offer from CEDA (Community & Economic Development Associates) to provide administrative assistance to the organization was tabled for later consideration.

Industrial lots to be discounted

President Howard Deters offered to contact business owner Jerry Kraus to work out details on his offer to buy a lot at the EDA-owned Spring Grove Commercial Park, west of town.

On a related note, Nerstad made a motion to advertise the remaining lots as "starting at $3,500." That's the amount of the offer that Kraus made, which was approved last month.

Initial advertisements will appear in local newspapers, on the EDA's website and on signage at the commercial park.

Fix-up grants approved

The first two applicants for the "Fix Fund" EDA grant program were noted.

A Gift to Gab and Giants of the Earth Heritage Center will each receive matching grant monies of up to $2,500 per building for façade improvements.

The remaining funds will be available on a "first-come, first-served" basis, members noted.

In light of that, city staff will be asked to date further applications as they arrive. Grant payments will be made after work is completed.

Hail repair remains unresolved

Members voted to approve Tim Ladsten of T-N-T Painting and Construction as their chosen contractor for roof repairs to the incubator building on South Division Avenue (next to the Post Office).

Ladsten will be asked to contact the League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust (LMCIT) department to determine an approved course of action.

They have already sent an insurance adjuster to inspect the building, which received hail damage last year.