EDA holds annual meeting, reviews development opportunities

By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

The Chatfield Economic Development Authority (EDA) members did what it took to get to their February meeting, held last Monday, Feb. 25, following one of the most surprising blizzards of the decade. EDA Director Chris Giesen noted that at least one member chose to gas up his snowmobile to carry out his civic duties on the board, but The Chatfield News was unable to attend due to road conditions.

Giesen shared the unofficial minutes of the meeting, however, citing that the board held both its annual and regular meeting, electing the same people to the officers’ posts and committees as last year, reviewing program guidelines and choosing not to make any changes, and hearing an update on the revolving loans the EDA has issued to local business owners to help support commerce in town — with all revolving loans being current. The annual report is underway and will be presented as soon as possible.

Enterprise Drive, the commercial-industrial development on the south end of town, has been a topic of discussion over the past two years, with the EDA and city hoping that a business would choose to locate or relocate there to expand.

Giesen and EDA members talked about how to market the parcels. “With the idea of getting more eyes and ears looking for potential buyers, the EDA made a recommendation to the council that a finder’s fee of three percent of the lot sale price should be offered to any licensed real estate agent that brings a new buyer or a buyer that we weren’t already working with who purchases a lot. This idea will go to the city council soon,” Giesen explained.

The Dollar General store development project that is slated to take place on the EDA’s Twiford redevelopment land came up as well. The EDA and city have discovered, since drawing up an agreement with the Wisconsin-based developer, that there were some missing land titles and a need to have a quit claim executed on tax-forfeited land.

“The board also reviewed and approved an extension of the purchase agreement for the Dollar General project — they also approved a recommendation to the council to extend the dates in the development agreement with Dollar General,” Giesen said. “Both extensions are directly related to the estimated time it will take to clear up land title issues. Ultimately, if all the time is needed, it would push the construction completion date from Oct. 1, 2019, to Dec. 31, 2019, but it could be completed sooner if the issues are resolved quicker, and staff is working to clear all the issues.”