October 22, 2015

Economic Development Authority
Saint Peter Community Center – Saint Peter Room


Call to Order:
The regular October 22, 2015 meeting of the Saint Peter Economic Development Authority (EDA) was called to order at 12:02 p.m. by President Bob Southworth.

EDA members Southworth, Cory Abels, Chuck Zieman, Marilyn Rundell, and John Kvamme in attendance, members James Dunn and Jay Hansen absent. Community Development Director Russ Wille and Administrative Secretary Cindy Moulton was also in attendance.

A motion by Kvamme, seconded by Abels to approve the meeting agenda as prepared.  All voted in favor of the motion.  Motion carried.

Motion by Zieman, seconded by Abels to approve the minutes of the September 24, 2015 meeting of the EDA as prepared and presented.  All voted in favor, the motion carried.

Historic Preservation/Accessibility Enhancement
At the September meeting, the EDA considered proposed changes to incorporate the existing Façade Enhancement Revolving Loan into the general Revolving Loan program and to make certain changes regarding the program.

Wille said he attempted to incorporate the Historical/Accessibility loans into the guidelines for the general loan program.  He determined that it would be best to keep the loan program separate from the general loan and its guidelines. 

Wille said that he revised the guidelines for the Historic Preservation/Accessibility Enhancement Loan Program as was suggested at the last meeting.

At the September meeting, discussion was held on the possibility of assessing the property owner’s portion of the façade renovation to the property.  Wille stated that staff researched that possibility and according to State Statute those type of loans cannot be assessed.

Discussion was held on whether or not to require the applicant’s financials.

Rundell felt the Façade Enhancement loan should be at 0% interest.  She commented that if the applicant were to go to the bank and apply for a loan, they would be required to provide their financials. 

Southworth felt a committee should review the application and financials.   If the information provided meets EDA requirements, the application would go before the EDA for approval.  If not, Wille would contact the applicant and inform them the loan is not viable.  Wille would give the applicant the choice of proceeding or withdrawing the request.

Abels felt the EDA should perform credit checks and review financials in order to protect them from “lender liability”.  Lenders can be liable for a borrower’s inability to repay due to the lender’s actions. 

Southworth said the EDA could not deny an applicant if financials are not required. 

Questions regarding the promotion of the Façade Enhancement Loan followed.

Southworth inquired as to how the program is promoted.  Wille said he informs business owners as they inquire about façade improvements.  He also indicated that the program is advertised through the Chamber, post cards sent to businesses, the hot sheet and the City of Saint Peter website.

Kvamme said the City Council discussed the possibility of forgiving a portion of the loan if the improvements were made to the buildings in the Heritage Preservation District. Commercial properties would need to go through the regular revolving loan process.

Kvamme asked how members felt about offering grants.  Abels asked if the City could budget funds and be able to pay the EDA back.  Wille indicated that the EDA earns approximately $125,000 in interest per year.

Southworth indicated he liked the program and that it should be more actively advertised in order to gauge the response.

Zieman felt that unless the businesses are contacted directly, the program would not be effective.

Abels commented that a $5,000 grant could be specifically used for ADA improvements.  The grant would then be awarded once the first loan is paid off.  It was suggested that guidelines be drafted stating that the grant would finance up to one-half of the project cost with a maximum of $5,000 awarded. 

It was also suggested that if an applicant received a revolving loan and façade loan, the interest rate would be blended


O’ Reilly Auto Parts: Will be consulting with MNDOT regarding access and exits to their property off of Hwy 169.

Shell Station:  The property is eligible for tax forfeiture. Nicollet County has agreed to put the property on tax forfeiture and will be sold on a Sheriffs Auction.  There is $52,000 in back taxes.  The property has a market value of $190,000.  MPCA has indicated that there is a low risk of contamination from the underground gas tanks on the property.

Broadway Streetscape/Highway 99 Bridge: In 2017 renovation will take place on the Hwy 99 Bridge.  The City has met with MNDOT regarding the streetscape on Broadway Avenue.  The City would need to take the lead on the project.

Building Better Neighborhoods Subdivision:  There has been discussion on developing a 3rd subdivision.

Mankato Clinic:  River Edge Clinic is closing.  Daniels Clinic may be relocating to the River Edge Clinic vacated space.  Daniels Clinic would then be listed for sale.

Green Valley Community: The property is for sale and is listed at $681,300.

South End KFC:  Developer Kyle Smith has purchased the south end KFC.  He has also had discussions with Shopko, as they have indicated they do not need all of their parking area.  Smith may be interested in developing a strip mall in that area.

Jesus Assembly of God School: The school has closed due to the lack of students.

With no further business before the EDA, a motion was made by Abels, seconded by Zieman to adjourn.  The meeting adjourned at 12:54 p.m.