The Spring Valley Economic Development Authority (EDA) met Jan. 16 and approved a revolving loan fund loan for The Pizza Place, to be located in the former HomeStyle Pizza building.

Spring Valley resident Tim Howard, who along with Steve Sharp, have bought the downtown building, located at 109 S. Broadway, to open their pizza restaurant aptly named The Pizza Place. Howard attended the EDA meeting to request a $17,500 loan from the EDA to help with startup costs for the business.

Howard and Sharp will be the sole owners of The Pizza Place and Joleen Rollie, Howard's girlfriend, will be the manager. Howard noted Rollie's many years of managing experience with HomeStyle Pizza will be an asset to the business.

Howard said they picked the name for the business because "everyone calls it that anyway." He noted the community needs and wants another restaurant. The Pizza Place will create jobs - there will be three full-time and eight part-time jobs created, according to Howard.

The owners anticipate opening for business on March 1, and have already purchased the needed equipment. They plan on putting in a new kitchen floor and refinishing the hardwood floors in the dining room, in addition to other improvements.

The restaurant will offer delivery. The menu includes four sizes of pizzas with various toppings, in addition to other specialty items. There will also be a salad bar offered during the lunch buffet. Howard noted they are currently in the process of getting a liquor license from the City of Spring Valley so they can serve beer, or perhaps 3.2 beer, at the restaurant. He said they will not have a bar atmosphere, desiring to keep the family environment.

The board members approved the loan, with payments set for 10 years at 3 percent interest.

Other business

• The EDA members approved the sponsorship agreement with Ag Star, which has agreed to fund $3,200 toward the downtown revitalization design plan. Enerson also noted the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund (GMHF) board has approved a $77,000 loan for the EDA to use to set up a revolving loan fund to help downtown building owners with improvements.

• The director shared that the city of Spring Valley is still in consideration for a Small Cities Block Grant (SCBG) to aid in downtown revitalization. Enerson said 33 applications made it through the first round with 25 eventually being picked to receive a grant.

• Enerson discussed holding design plan meetings for the downtown revitalization, in which those in attendance would discuss "the overall look" for the plan. She was asking the board for input on who to invite to the five upcoming meetings. It was decided that those who submitted a letter of intent for the SCBG should be invited, along with members of the different organizations within the community involved with the revitalization in the past, including Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Kingsland School District, Brave Community Theatre, Hometown Pride Committee, EDA, and the Spring Valley Garden Club.

• The director said she has had several people submit ideas to her about how to use the roughly $265,000 Rochester sales tax revenue funds the city will be receiving to use for economic development in 2013 and 2014. Enerson suggested the EDA can gather ideas and make a "laundry list" in the next few months. The board could then give it to the city council to "divvy up the funds." The first half of the money will be awarded on July 31, 2013, with the second half awarded the same date in 2014. She said a community meeting will be held in February to get input.