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BE Council OKs new CEDA contract

By Staff | Jan 7, 2018

The new ice rink in Blue Earth received some damage when people skated before the rink was ready.

The Blue Earth City Council voted in favor of hiring a new firm to handle the economic development work for the city last Monday night during their regular council meeting.

The council agreed to a contract with Community Economic Development Associates (CEDA), a firm headquartered in Chatfield, Minnesota.

The contract calls for CEDA to have an associate working in Blue Earth three days a week. The cost of the contract is $53,756 per year.

“That is close to what the city was paying FCDC (Faribault County Development Corporation) this past year,” city administrator Tim Ibisch said. “And it is in our budget for this year.”

Ibisch said he and mayor Rick Scholtes, as well as Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) chairman Bill Rosenau, had met with the person who will likely be the CEDA associate working in Blue Earth.

“She is working in the city of Jordan at this time,” Ibisch said, adding he could not release her name yet. “She is a recent college graduate and we were impressed with her enthusiasm. We expect she will probably start here in about two weeks time and will be working in an office here at City Hall.”

In a separate, but somewhat related matter, the council went into closed session at the end of their meeting to discuss possible litigation involving FCDC.

No further information was released after the council came back into regular session, other than to adjourn the meeting.

In other action at last Monday’s meeting, the council:

Spent some time at their work session before the regular meeting to discuss the proposed city sales tax.

The council looked at several possibilities of where the funds could be spent.

Administrator Ibisch reported that using last year’s sales figures in the city, the half percent sales tax could raise about $165,000 each year in the city.

No final decisions were made. The council is expected to put the sales tax question on the ballot for voters as part of this fall’s general election.

Approved a vote to allow up to $8,000 in costs to do some televising, checking and cleaning of sewer lines in the area of next summer’s street projects.

Learned there was some damage to the new ice skating rink before it was completely put up.

Ibisch said someone went around the barricades and skated on the ice before all the layers had been installed, damaging the new lining to the tune of about $3,000.

Took care of many items dealing with the first of the year, including selecting an official newspaper, auditor and bank depository, as well as committee members, mayoral appointments and dates for council meetings in 2018.