The Spring Valley EDA works to finalize details for grant funds
Tuesday, August 20, 2013 3:54 AM
Spring Valley Economic Development Authority was able to finalize more details for the Greater Minnesota Housing Revolving Loan Fund (GMHFA), as well as the special purpose Revolving Loan Fund at its Aug. 14 meeting. Both of the funds can be used in conjunction with the Small Cities Block Grant the city is receiving.
The GMHFA was wired the 1 percent, or $500, origination fee for the resolution of borrowing the grant funds, according to economic development director Cathy Enerson.
Loans from the GMHFA will be available to help provide low interest, residential housing rehabilitations to qualifying downtown building owners. The downtown area consists of the two blocks of Broadway Avenue.
The fund consists of $77,000, which is committed to the revitalization of housing in the downtown area. There are several guidelines set to be able to qualify for the funding.
In order to qualify for the loan, which has $5,500 maximum available per applicants, they must allow 51 percent of the apartments within the building to be leased to low to moderate income persons and they must also supply 10 pre-construction pictures with the application and 10 post-construction pictures. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to follow the adopted Main Street design plan. The loan must be paid back within a five-year term. The fund is slated to begin by Sept. 25.
Enerson has been working with city attorney Kelly Wagner to finalize the fees that will be attributed to the grant fund loans. There will be a fee to be paid to the City of Spring Valley at the time of closing. These fees go toward the attorney fee, recording fee and the abstracting and title examination.
The special Revolving Loan Fund will be for qualified downtown commercial building owners to use in conjunction with the block grant and is set up to help create and sustain businesses in the downtown area.
The EDA has set aside $35,000 for this fund with a $10,000 maximum per applicant. This loan must be paid back within three to10 years and is slated to be available by Jan. 2.
Some of the guidelines for this fund include providing a 12-month history of the utility bills for the building at the time of the applications and once a year during the life of the loan. The applicants must invest a percent of the project funding and, as with the GMHFA, they are encouraged to follow the adopted Main Street design.
There will be a flat fee for this fund of $220, though other fees may apply.
An important change to the guidelines is the inclusion of properties within the flood plain, which does affect many buildings in the downtown area. However, according to Enerson, the restriction will apply for these properties in 2014, so the city's properties will qualify under this grant.
In other business:
The 2014 budget discussed and approved by the board with audits increasing by 1 percent and consultant contract by 3 percent. The budget will be decreasing office supplies by $100 and legal fees by $150. The total deficit will be $2,795, which is down drastically from the last year when the deficit was closer to $12,000. Reserve funds will cover the difference.
The Spring Valley Chamber of Commerce and the EDA are two weeks into their joint Karma Cash project. The Sparrow's Closet, Valley Farm & Home, and Simpson's A&W are the local businesses that have participated so far. Each week participating businesses will be featured in the Spring Valley Tribune.
The board approved the 90-day extension of the $10,000 grant approved for Kraut's Locker.
Daryl Boetcher, owner of the Salsa Guy, attended a meeting held by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) grant foundation in Rochester. According to Enerson, Boetcher found more help at the meeting then he had in the last four years. The board agreed to hold his application for the grant until February in order to give as much time as possible to organize a business plan.
Enerson told the board about a new business, Glad Gatherings, which will be located at the former Victorian Inn. This will be a retreat setting for persons looking for a gathering space in Spring Valley. The business is just in the beginning stages as it looks to fix up the property, but the EDA will continue to look into the 0.5 percent sales tax fund for lodging projects, as it has already addressed the possible funding with the Spring Valley City Council.
The next EDA meeting will be held Sept. 11 at 8:30 a.m. in the Spring Valley City Hall.