EDA commissioners had scheduled a discussion of timelines and deadlines for their Main Street advertising campaign when they met on Nov. 27.

That whole topic was suspended, however, when the future of the project was called into question at the Main Street Marketing session held prior to their regular agenda. (Look elsewhere in this week's paper for information from that portion of the meeting.)

Billboard proposal reviewed

As promised, Pam Eddy of Fairway Outdoor Advertising (formerly Olympus Media) returned to present a proposal for billboard advertising.

Eddy confirmed the offer she brought in October. The EDA can purchase a vinyl sign for $225 and receive free posting on any open billboard the company owns in Houston County.

If another customer rents the space, the advertisement will be moved to another open space free of charge, Eddy said.

The EDA's only additional cost would be a charge to have their ad moved around from board to board at their (EDA's) request.

Depending on the distance involved, that would cost from $100 to $150, she said. Open spaces in La Crosse, Wis., or northern Iowa are also a possibility, Eddy noted.

Eddy asked the board to consider sponsoring Spring Grove businesses by paying part of their billboard costs.

In addition to the $500 already approved to help clients ($50 per business for up to 10 different operations) at the October meeting, Eddy's suggestion was to pay $50 per four-week billing period (up to $5,200 total per year).

Commissioners took no action on either offer, but showed interest in the "cover-copy" free advertising plan.

Past due loans noted

As requested, City Administrator Theresa Coleman brought the latest figures on two EDA loans that are not current.

Note No. 100 was opened on March 7, 2008. The payoff balance is currently at $10,403. Loan No. 61 dates from Sept. 30, 2009. Its balance is $3,472.

Commissioners asked Coleman to send reminders to the borrowers and continue the practice of asking for payments to be caught up at least every six months, but decided to take no further action at present.

"What do you do on things like this?" Mayor Saundra Solum asked.

"These are risky loans," President Howard Deters noted.

"The idea is to get them (businesses) going. Once they are able to go to a bank for a loan, we would expect them to do that."

EDA to lose executive director?

Solum asked commissioners to consider the fact that Coleman serves as executive director of the EDA.

The current city council has broached the subject of changing her position to part-time.

That decision will not be made by the EDA, so the board could only make a recommendation on the issue. No action was taken at Tuesday's meeting.

Other news from the board

Coleman reported on the status of a $20,000 grant from the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation to encourage entrepreneurial development.

In addition, another $5,000 is available for expenses and coordinator costs. A meeting will be held on Jan. 26, 2013, at the Fest Building.

The League of Minnesota Cities has sent an adjuster to inspect hail damage to EDA buildings, Coleman added.

The board voted to advertise for quotes to make repairs. No dollar amounts for the damages have been announced, since it would influence the process.

Solum told the board that she would be interested in staying on at EDA once her term as mayor expires.

When Commissioner Bruce Poole begins his term as mayor he will attend in that capacity, leaving a position open.

Coleman offered to check on the status of the terms that the board is serving, to see when vacancies will occur.