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Aug 24 16

Chippewa County announces new financing tool for energy efficiency & renewable energy improvements

by Melissa

August 29, 2016, Chippewa County, MN – Interest in energy efficiency for buildings and adding renewable energy like solar has been growing in recent years in Chippewa County. A financing tool called Property-Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, can help adoption of these energy technologies grow even faster.

Available to businesses, farms, multi-family housing, nonprofits, and places of worship in Chippewa County, PACE provides project financing that is repaid as a separate item on property tax assessments for a set period. In this way, PACE eliminates the burden of upfront costs by providing low-cost, long-term financing.

“With PACE, businesses in Chippewa County has an easy way to pay for energy-saving improvements to their buildings.” shared Chippewa County Commissioner David Nordaune.

Examples of potential building improvements that can be financed with PACE are solar arrays, HVAC upgrades, LED lighting, condensing boilers, digital controls, insulation, variable-frequency drive motors, building automation systems, and other water and energy conservation measures.

“PACE financing is different than a traditional loan and will help building owners in Chippewa County overcome several barriers to making energy-related building improvements,” Nordaune continued. “For starters, there are no upfront costs and there is less of a reliance on credit. Also, unlike a loan, when a transfer of ownership of the property takes place, the PACE assessment obligation stays with the property, not the property owner. In addition, PACE assessments can generally be repaid over longer terms than a bank might allow.”

Chippewa County signed a joint powers agreement with the Saint Paul Port Authority authorizing the PACE program. The Saint Paul Port Authority provides the PACE funding and administers all aspects of the program. Chippewa County places the assessment on the property, collects payments each year, and passes money back to the Port Authority.

If people want to learn more about PACE and take action, the Minnesota Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs) have an extensive resource page with program details and applications, factsheets, success stories, and frequently asked questions at For general questions about PACE, contact Kristi Fernholz, West Central CERTs Coordinator at the Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission at 320-.289-1981 x106 or

Aug 17 16

Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) Survey

by Melissa

2016 marks the year that all Regional Development Commissions in Minnesota will be updating their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS). To gather regional input we’ve established a regional survey.

This regional survey is intended to identify regional economic development strengths, weaknesses, ideas, needs and resources for the region serving the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Swift and Yellow Medicine.

The survey can be found on the UMVRDC’s website and is available until August 31st. A meeting to discuss the results and develop new economic development goals and strategies for the region will be held on Monday, September 19th from 10-12 at the Appleton Civic Center, 323 W. Schlieman Ave, Appleton, MN 56208.

For questions or more information on the CEDS please contact Jacki Anderson at

Aug 12 16

August 2016 Board Meeting

by Jackie S

The August board meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 23rd beginning at 6:30pm at the Appleton Civic Center. This meeting is open to the public.

Aug 12 16

Open Position: Transportation/Community Development Planner

by Dawn Hegland

The Upper Minnesota Valley Regional Development Commission (UMVRDC) is looking for an entry level community development planner to develop and manage projects with cities, counties and other organizations in the five-county UMVRDC region of Big Stone, Swift, Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine Counties. This position works on broad and diverse projects that have a regional scope and includes projects requiring a high level of detail.

 The Position

Work areas include initiating, developing and managing projects for local governments in the following areas:

  • Community strategic planning
  • Capital improvement planning
  • Environmental reviews
  • Comprehensive planning and plan updates
  • Zoning ordinance development
  • Telecommunication/broadband planning
  • MN DEED Small Cities Development Program grant writing and administration
  • Hazard mitigation planning
  • Renewable energy project development and grant writing
  • GIS and mapping support
  • Park and recreation planning

Primary responsibilities (50-75%) will be regional transportation planning and will include the following areas:

  • Assist MnDOT with statewide transportation projects and plans.
  • Participate in the development of the Area Transportation Improvement Program for MnDOT Districts 4 & 8.
  • Complete transportation planning projects or studies for the region that promote a seamless transportation network.
  • Review and process functional classification change requests in coordination with the local road authority and the MnDOT District State Aid Engineer.
  • Communicate with MnDOT; RDC staff, boards and committees; local officials and staff; and the general public on a board range of transportation related issues.
  • Meet and coordinate with MnDOT and peer transportation planners to enhance planning and provide regional input for state projects and projects considered for federal funding.
  • Provide professional assistance to local units of government on local and regional transportation issues.
  • Work with communities and schools developing and implementing Safe Routes to School Plans.
  • Promote and develop active transportation strategies for cities, counties, and schools.

Background & Experience

Related 4-year degree in community development, transportation planning, geography, urban studies/design, public administration, environmental studies, economics or a related field or at least six years’ experience in the previous fields or a combination of both required.

Night meetings and overnight travel is necessary.

Must have valid driver’s license.

All finalists considered will be subject to a criminal background check.

Salary & Benefits

Starting salary $41,600.

Benefits include full single health insurance high deductible plan ($3,200 single/$6,400 family maximum), 50% family coverage, full single dental, agency contributions to HSA account ($1,600 in 2016), life, flexible benefits plan, deferred compensation plan, PERA.


The position is available starting immediately.

This position will remain open until filled.

To Apply

 Please review the Community Development Planner Position Profile for an overview of the position and instructions on how to apply.

Send application, copies of college transcripts, and cover letter highlighting three things you can bring to the UMVRDC Community Development Team to:

Executive Director

323 West Schlieman Avenue

Appleton, MN 56208

320-289-1981 x101


Aug 10 16

Center for Small Towns Seeks Proposals for Community-Based Projects

by Melissa

Does your community have a project that could use help from University of MN Morris student or faculty help? Check out this opportunity from the Center for Small Towns!