Spring Grove EDA briefly discussed an exciting prospect on Tuesday, Sept. 25. The topic arose when Commissioner JC Nerstad reported that an individual representing an unnamed company contacted him about the purchase of two prime lots in the EDA-owned Spring Grove Commercial Park.

"They approached me," Nerstad stated. "They're about a 20 to 25 person employer... They would like to meet next week with (President) Howard Deters and myself."

The company would likely be interested in lots one and two of block two, the pair of one-acre parcels which front State Trunk Highway 44, Nerstad said. Those are the most expensive sites at the park, originally priced at $29,000 each.

"That would be great!" Deters said.

Members might not want to get their hopes up too high, however. After the meeting, Nerstad confirmed that the deal could be a "big long-shot." That's because the interested party has been in contact with him about the possibility of locating in Spring Grove several times in the past without closing on a property.

With one other sale (lot three) already approved, and a second (lot four) also being looked at, commissioners addressed providing water and sewer to developers. Water is fairly easy to provide to builders, Commissioner Robert Vogel said. Sewer is much more expensive. Running both to three potential developers could cost approximately a half-million dollars, he added.

"There is a tipping-point where that starts to make some sense," Deters said. Exactly when a sewer extension would become cost-effective was not agreed upon, however.

Nerstad said the company looking at lots one and two would not use large volumes of water, and may be planning to utilize an on-site septic field for washrooms if they locate in Spring Grove. Deters noted that the number of gallons of usage for that option, even when several persons use the facilities, is quite a bit less than a typical home (with a washing machine, dishwasher, bathtub, etc).

Vogel also serves on the Spring Grove City Council, as well as the Planning Commission. He said that the latter group will do a site plan review for the potential buyer of lot four at its Sept. 25 meeting. That person (not yet identified) has proposed building a fenced storage-type commercial building with heat and water if applicable permits are available.

Lots three and four have both been reduced from $15,000 to $3,500.

Grand prize drawing soon

The board also made plans for the grand prize drawing in its "Detour Dollars" promotion.

Musician Mike McAbee will entertain at Viking Memorial Park on Saturday, Oct. 5, from 11 a.m. through 2 p.m. During that time, attendees can register for a 10-name drawing. Those lucky entrants will be placed in the bowl along with all of the previous weekly drawing winners, and then the grand prize will be drawn ($4,444 in Spring Grove dollars).

Commissioners picked a backup site in case of rain. That location would be the front porch of the Fest Building.

Budget proposal expected by council

With the preliminary 2014 city budget currently at $0 for the EDA, Vogel said the group needs to submit a proposed budget to that body. "The city needs to know what it actually buys when it funds the EDA," he stated.

In 2013, the City of Spring Grove provided $27,000 to the SG EDA.

Commissioners decided to work on Vogel's proposal. By consensus, they also decided to request a joint meeting with the city council to address the budget on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

In other news, members reviewed the six "fix fund" recipients who have been approved for 50 percent matching-grant dollars (up to $2,500 per project) to upgrade business facades. EDA members will confirm the exact amount of each completed project, so that the funds left in the program can be accurately determined. Deters stated that some monies should still be left from the dollar amounts approved earlier this year.