The Spring Valley Economic Development Authority wrapped up plans for an upcoming community growth and future planning meeting during its Aug. 13 meeting.

According to economic development director Cathy Enerson, Lee Himle will begin the meeting and then Pam ­­­Bishop of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) will act as mediator for the community meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, at the Spring Valley Community Center.

For the last several years the EDA and Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce have complied resident surveys to get a feel of the wants and needs of the community. With this meeting, they hope to expand this idea.

During the meeting attendees will be asked to discuss the eight silos of community development.

The concept of the eight silos came from Jerry Williams, as he spoke about the Destination Medical Center at the annual Spring Valley Area Community Foundation banquet in April.  They include livable city, retail, dining; hotel and hospitality; entertainment, arts and culture, civic; commercial, research, technology; health and wellness; learning environment; sports, recreation and nature; and transportation.

The EDA is inviting Spring Valley residents, as well as persons from surrounding areas to join them in discussing the positives and negatives of the area in order to develop a plan for the city that best suits community members.

“Its really nice to have school board members, principals and even some youth. The more diverse the group the better,” Enerson noted. 

Members of area boards or groups and all area residents are encouraged to attend.

2015 budget

The EDA began preparing for 2015 as the board discussed their budget.

“We have another year of administering the Small Cities Block Grant so I don’t really see additional projects on the horizon that would take expenses for 2015,” Enerson explained.

There are some increases from the 2014 budget including $20 for the audit portion, $250 for legal fees, $300 for office supplies and $673 due to a 3 percent increase in the director’s contract. 

After much discussion it was decided to add $3,000 back into the budget for housing incentives, though it may be possible for part of this to come from the Rochester sales tax.

The changes will be adding an additional $4,248.25 to the 2015 budget for a total of $31,525.

“I just like to see we have a balanced budget.  It’s encouraging to see,” EDA member Steve Himlie commented.

DEED pilot program

Enerson announced a new jobs training program through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and funded by the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership Board.

The program will provide grants up to $50,000 to new or expanding businesses that are in the manufacturing, warehouse, distributing, information technology, finance, insurance and technical service realms, with 150 or less full-time employees.

To be eligible, these new jobs must be permanent, full-time positions with wages at least 110 percent of federal poverty guidelines ($12.61 per hour for Jan. 1, 2015).

More information can be found at http://mn.gov/deed/programs-services/mjsp/training-grants/index.jsp

The next EDA meeting will be held on Sept. 10 at 8:30 a.m.