Make sure you are counted in the 2020 Census!
There is still time to fill out your 2020 Census online or by mail! The data collected from the Census is critical to our state, counties, and communities. Visit the 2020 Census website to respond and find more information.Census Website
$1.8 Million New Small Cities Development Grant Funds Coming to the Region!
The communities of Appleton and Clara City received exciting news from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The UMVRDC authored two grant applications for these communities and both awards were announced in June. In the coming months, UMVRDC staff alongside Prairie Five Community Action Council will be working together to implement the three-year grants.
Appleton’s grant is going to provide funds for eighteen owner occupied homes that need rehabilitation. Five commercial properties will also receive rehabilitation through this almost $1.06 million project, of which $747,500 is Small Cites Development Program (SCDP) grant funds.
Clara City’s upcoming project totals over $902,000, and will allow ten owner occupied homes, eight single-family rental homes, and four commercial businesses to receive needed rehabilitation. The $701,000 in SCDP grant funds will provide a significant amount of impact throughout their community.
CARES Act Supplemental Economic Development Administration Award
The U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently received a supplemental appropriation to “prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus including for necessary expenses for responding to economic injury as a result of coronavirus,” as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. On May 7th, 2020, the EDA published an addendum to the FY20 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Act Notice of Funding Opportunity to announce EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance, through which the EDA will award grants under the supplemental appropriation.
As part of the EDA’s CARES Act Recovery Assistance, the EDA is inviting certain institutional grantees, including Economic Development Districts that currently receive partnership planning grants to apply for supplemental awards to help respond to the unusual and compelling urgency of the coronavirus pandemic. The EDA has determined that these institutional partners, by virtue of their longstanding and substantial investment in building capacity to respond to economic shocks and their ongoing partnership with EDA, possess unique abilities to support the CARES Act Recovery Assistance initiative and that it is therefore in the public interest to make awards to these organizations on a non-competitive basis.
Specifically, the EDA has invited the UMVRDC to apply for a supplemental financial assistance award of up to $400,000 over a 24-month period to implement a predefined scope of work. An application was submitted on June 3rd and includes a scope of work committed to helping the region respond to this unprecedented challenge by proactively addressing redevelopment initiatives, recovery strategies for specifically impacted industries, resiliency around digital commerce, as well as various strategies addressing regional marketing and tourism.
Revolving Loan Fund Supports Two Local Businesses
The UMVRDC’s Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) provided $200,000 in financing for Stony Ridge Foods, Inc to expand their edible bean processing business. Through this expansion project, Stony Ridge Foods was able to purchase equipment for their Benson location. Along with the UMVRDC’s RLF financing, Minnwest Bank, the Benson Economic Development Authority (EDA), combined with the owner’s equity made this $1.8 million project happen.
Korthuis Jewelry & Gift with locations in Montevideo and Granite Falls, has been working on a business succession plan for several years. The $38,000 loan that the UMVRDC provided to Betty Korthuis Pfaff when she purchased her father’s business, was utilized to assist in the purchase of the inventory and equipment. The Granite Falls EDA and the Co-op Credit Union were also included in this business project.
To see if your business would qualify for a startup or expansion loan product at the UMVRDC, contact Laura Ostlie at 320-289-1981 ext. 102 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerkhoven Plans for the Future
After months of working on a plan that will guide the City of Kerkhoven for the next 20 years (2020 – 2040), Kerkhoven is adopting their comprehensive plan. The UMVRDC started the process for the Kerkhoven Comprehensive Plan in early 2019. A task force met regularly to go through data and conduct a community survey that informed the goals and strategies of the plan and gave voice to their shared vision.
A comprehensive plan serves as a legal basis for land use regulations and it provides guidelines for the city council and decision makers on how best to use city resources. The plan includes information on the past, present, and what it hopes for the future.
Regional Developable Properties
The UMVRDC has been working on a project in partnership with the U of M Extension Sustainable Regional Development Partnership (UMN RSDP) and the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) to inventory and address redevelopment of vacant and underutilized properties throughout the region. The project commenced last year with undergraduate students engaged through University of Minnesota-Morris Center for Small Towns. They developed and compiled the inventory and then the contracted graduate architect from the University of Minnesota School of Design completed final visioning and mock-up concept drawings for a select number of developable properties. A presentation and final report were presented in May and available for review below.Concept Design Example Research Findings
As workforce recruitment rose to the top in the UMVRDC’s annual survey as a critical issue, the UMVRDC was directed by the board to address the issue by researching employers’ workforce recruitment struggles, needs, and share available content and resources that has already been collected within the UMVRDC Region.
Staff identified a list of employers within the region in which they reached out to line up Zoom meetings with Human Resource Departments and/or those responsible for hiring. The goals of the meetings consist of the following:
- Identify what strategies and materials employers are currently using for their workforce recruitment efforts
- Identify employers needs for hiring such as lifestyle information: housing, childcare, education, healthcare, etc., brochures, city/county information
- Showcase content and regional resources that employers can use to increase their recruitment efforts (Prairie Waters & MN Bump Programs)
MACCRAY Completes Safe Routes to School Planning
The Safe Routes to School Team, which included the superintendent, principals, parents, teachers, and students from MACCRAY as well as representatives from the MACCRAY School Board, City of Clara City, Clara City Police Department, Palmer Bus Service, MnDOT, Countryside Public Health, and the UMVRDC, met to discuss what it’s currently like for students to walk and bike to school and why they may not be doing it.
Walk audits and arrival and dismissal observations were done in all three communities. Parents and students completed surveys about walking and biking to school and a list of programming and infrastructure recommendations were developed from the group’s findings.
Completing this planning process will help set a direction for the school for the near future and increase the odds that the district and communities will be awarded grant funds for programming and infrastructure.MACCRAY SRTS Executive Summary
Mark Your Calendars!
June 23: UMVRDC Monthly Meeting
Online via Zoom || 6:30 p.m.
July 3: UMVRDC Office closed for Independence Day
July 28: UMVRDC Annual Meeting
Details coming soon!
August 25: UMVRDC Monthly Meeting
Appleton Civic Center || 6:30 p.m.
September 7: UMVRDC Office closed for Labor Day
September 22: UMVRDC Monthly Meeting
Appleton Civic Center || 6:30 p.m.