EDA hears program updates

By: 
PAULA BARNESS
Spring Valley Tribune

After kicking off in February, the Making it Home program has been busy bringing area residents together as they work to build a stronger tomorrow for Spring Valley.

On Wednesday, May 9, the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority (EDA) was updated on the efforts made through the program.

The program is geared toward helping cities uncover what makes them unique, how to promote their assets and how to take action on creating more benefits for the community to make them more attractive to potential residents.

“Making it Home is not complete, but we've wrapped up to the point of the action forum. April 18, through snowstorms and technology, we had our debriefing meeting with the seven facilitators and our coordinator Jennifer Hawkins from the (University of Minnesota) Extension office. She has been an excellent assistant in this project with the materials and organization they've presented. It has been wonderful to work with the university and I would highly recommend it to any other communities, as well,” economic development director Cathy Enerson shared.

According to Enerson, over 50 area residents participated in the forum in which they gave their input on various topics on the development of the city.

Some of the facilitators have even reached out to the youth of the city working with Kingsland students to brainstorm ideas.

Ideas include creating a new slogan for the city, building a more in-depth website with more livability information, establishing a downtown alliance to make the downtown more inviting

“I think it has turned out excellent,” board member Jason Runck commented. “I think all of the groups have done an excellent job and the next step is to move forward to implement some of the ideas.”

The groups will meet again in June to get a progress report.

REV

Next, the EDA members heard from fellow members on the progress of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation's (SMIF) Rural Enterprise Venture (REV) program.

“Cathy and I are the e-resources area; we are compiling a list of resources that are available to entrepreneurs, so a list of banks, attorneys, insurance providers, marketing and things like that where they can go to,” Runck shared. “Our next step is reaching out to some of these people, explaining the program, letting them know that they are on the list and why.”

Spring Valley community members Jenn Slifka and Julie Mlinar are leading another group who are meeting with four initial businesses, Chateau de Chic and Sparrow's Closet, Spring Valley Ponds, Spring Valley Greenhouse and Ody's Country Meats to outline the REV program and their programs goals in hopes to receive beneficial feedback.

“We are getting together on May 30 with our partners in Lanesboro to see how things went on their end, too,” Enerson said. “It think we will all get updates on how all these business visits went. I'm super excited for all of that.”

Other business

• The board reviewed the revolving loan request from CDCST, Inc., for $30,000 with funds going toward the purchase of the two buildings to the north of Chateau de Chic. The item was tabled pending final documentation.

• The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 13, at 8:30 a.m.