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County to help the small towns

By Staff | May 10, 2015

The Faribault County Board found a way to lend a helping hand to their smaller communities in the form of $350,000.

That amount is what the commissioners approved at their meeting last Tuesday as funding for a cooperative project revolving loan fund.

The purpose of the proposed loan program is to aid small cities to finance various projects.

“Last fall Walters was having a difficult time finding a loan to perform road construction projects,”?county auditor John Thompson explained.

As a solution Thompson found a project which had been used in Morrison County.

The total loan fund is set at $350,000 and the maximum amount for a loan would be $110,000.

The funds would be available for use on projects such as public streets, roads, sidewalks, building tions and demolition of forfeited tax buildings.

“I’m very interested in the program, it’s different for them (the smaller cities) they don’t have the tax base or funds and this would be a real life saver for them,”?commissioner Tom Warmka said.

In order to target the smaller communities in Faribault County, the program was originally intended for cities with a population of 500 or less.

However, a concern was brought forward about excluding some smaller towns who may need the help but have a population greater than 500.

“Can we go from 500 to 750 because the 500 limit would leave out Elmore,”?commissioner John Roper pointed out.

He made a motion to amend the current wording to include cities with a 725 or less population.

Others were concerned about including too many cities into the criteria by increasing the population.

“If we dilute it too much, the purpose might just be lost,” commissioner Greg Young said.

The County Board took a vote and approved the program to include small cities with a population of 725 or less.

The board also discussed the recent work session held last week which included representatives from I&S?Group (ISG).

After the work session the possibility of utilizing the AgCenter to house some of the various County offices was brought forward.

ISG was going to assess that site just as the other sites in the courthouse, MVAC building, annex and the old jail building.

“It would cost $2,500 to add that addendum to the packet of the other assessments,”?central services director Dawn Fellows said.

Fellows added that she hoped the assessment could be completed prior to the next county commissioner meeting.

“I want to keep this moving, so it would be a short window of time for them to complete this,”?she said. “A week, 10 days, maybe two weeks.”