The year 2016 was a pretty big one for the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA), says Tim Clawson of the Faribault County Development Corporation (FCDC).
Clawson serves as executive director of the FCDC, and FCDC is hired by the city of Blue Earth to handle all their economic development projects, working with the EDA.
At last month's EDA meeting and at one of the February Blue Earth City Council meetings, Clawson gave the annual EDA report for 2016.
The new sign at the city/EDA owned Ag Center was installed just last week.
"The EDA ended the year with just over $1.1 million in total fund cash balances," Clawson said. "And was also able to accomplish a long list of projects."
That list is indeed long. It includes:
Ag Center parking lot reconstruction,
Assisting financially with the Chamber of Commerce's land purchase for a new Giant Museum and Visitor's Center,
Main Street Reconstruction mitigation loans, and business facade grants,
Purchase and cleanup of Three Sisters buildings and redevelopment strategies,
Assisting with opening of new Jake's Body Shop,
Assisting with opening of new Cedar Inn,
Assisting with lot purchase for new ELM homes project,
Andy's Oriental building demolition and subsequent exterior wall construction on Oswald Brewery building,
Sale of the Century Building in the West Industrial Park to Kerry Ingredients,
Assisting with moving some Faribault County offices into the Ag Center,
Assisting with new Welcome to Blue Earth signs.
There is more to the list, but Clawson listed these as some of the more important items.
The EDA also was busy with a long list of loans and grants issued during 2016.
"All in all, the EDA invested $242,613 into the Blue Earth business community, and that stimulated another $502,108 of private funds being invested."
For instance, Clawson listed the 18 commercial exterior renovation grants issued in the total amount of $60,902. This was a match-