The Spring Grove EDA held another Main Street Marketing meeting prior to convening its regular agenda on Oct. 30. No decisions were made, but advertising, Spring Grove Dollars promotions, the city map/business brochure project and more ideas were kicked around.

Members were joined by Pamela Eddy of Olympus Media of La Crosse, Wis., who talked about a cover-copy program that her billboard company is offering non-profits.

Eddy said that the EDA could buy a vinyl billboard sign for $225, which the company would place on open sites for free. Typically, the vinyl would last up to three years, she stated.

"As long as there is an open spot in Houston County, if it's available, we'll put you up," Eddy said. "What we really want is to promote your city."

Eddy said that there are currently 13 open billboard spaces in the county. The EDA's sign could be moved from place to place, she added. Eddy also asked the EDA to consider helping local advertisers buy billboard ads.

By consensus, commissioners asked Eddy to bring back a mock-up of a Spring Grove billboard to their next meeting.

Revolving loan extended

During their regular meeting, commissioners voted to extend revolving loan No. 90 (Doc's Blue Moose) for three years.

That means the original $50,000 balance will be rolled over for another three-years, and during that time, the business will make interest-only payments of $500 a quarter at 4 percent interest, commencing Feb. 1, 2013.

The loan balance will be due in full on Nov. 1, 2015. Member J.C. Nerstad, a co-owner of the business, abstained.

City Administrator Theresa Coleman was asked how many revolving loans are late in making payments.

She said that two businesses are currently behind. Nerstad said he had talked to both, and, "We will be getting paid in full."

Campground discussed

Chairman Howard Deters asked the board to consider what to do with the campground feasibility study that was drawn up earlier this year.

The EDA owned land near the Family SWIM Center would be the site of the facility.

"The city isn't going to build a campground, and the EDA isn't going to build a campground," Deters said.

"What we may want to do is advertise for a request for proposal. See if we can find someone who would be interested in the site as a prospective development."

"As far as the community is concerned, it would be a homerun," Nerstad said. "But, I would never want to relinquish the land rights. We could lease the property for basically nothing."

Nerstad added that a few more details would need to be worked out before advertising for a developer. He offered to look into the matter before the next EDA meeting.

"The reason to do it would be to just get some proposals back," Commissioner Robert Vogel added. "If there's money to be made in all this, there's people who will do it."

Deters said that the EDA would need to decide what the conditions of a development agreement would include, but the idea is worth pursuing.

Commissioner Bruce Poole agreed, adding that the proximity to the pool could be a big draw for a developer. The consensus of the board was to pursue the idea.

"You might not get any interest, but then again you may," Deters concluded. "We already spent the money to have the feasibility study done. We should see if we can move forward."

Other news from the board

Commissioners voted to have 1,000 map/brochures printed at a cost of $850 (delivered). Businesses have already bought approximately $300 worth of advertising space on the handouts.

Nerstad made a motion to offer $50 towards billboard advertising for up to 10 local businesses, good through the end of the year. The offer would be first-come, first-served. It passed by unanimous vote.

A motion to grant MnDOT a temporary easement to replace the sidewalk in front of the EDA-owned property at 107 W. Main St. passed with a single "no" vote from Poole.

Next meeting announced

The Spring Grove Economic Development Authority (EDA) meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at 168 W. Main St. Its next meeting will be Nov. 27.