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BE EDA makes loan for Double Play sale

Board also renews contract with CEDA for 2021 at 4 days/week

By Chuck Hunt - Editor | Dec 13, 2020

The Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) voted to approve a $25,000 loan to assist in the purchase of the Double Play Sports Bar and Grill in Blue Earth by Joe Franta and Jonah Pirsig.

For a second meeting in a row, the Blue Earth Economic Development Authority (EDA) took action to assist in the sale of a Blue Earth business.

This past Thursday morning, Dec. 10, the EDA granted a $25,000 Forgivable Loan request from Jonah Pirsig and Joe Franta to assist them in their purchase of the Double Play Bar and Restaurant.

The EDA loan committee had recommended granting the loan request.

Pirsig and Franta said the sale is expected to happen later in January. They will then do some remodeling inside and open in early spring, around April 1, they said.

“I have always wanted to operate a restaurant,” Pirsig told the EDA board. “We have been working on this since last spring.”

Both Franta and Pirsig work for Nielsen Blacktopping and Franta says he will continue to do so, while Pirsig runs bar/restaurant, along with Franta’s wife, Cassie.

They plan on a few changes to the building, including creating a larger, private room.

The two told the EDA board they have qualified for an SBA loan and everything is on track for a January purchase, although COVID pushed them back and things have taken a little longer than first planned.

Board members wished them well and commented it was great to see local young people investing in the community.

In other business at last Thursday’s morning meeting, the EDA board also took care of several items dealing with the Ag Center, which they own.

They heard an update on the lighting project at the Ag Center. It has made a big difference on the lighting for the tenants who have had the new lights installed.

They also heard an update on the new door locks at the Ag Center.

The locks are very nice and will work very well, city administrator Mary Kennedy reported.

“The invoice did come in at about $1,000 higher than we expected,” Kennedy said. The EDA board approved the invoice for payment.

Another Ag Center item was hiring a company for snow removal in the parking lot.

They had received two proposals, one from G and S Drainage and one from Moore Construction.

After some discussion, the EDA members voted to hire Moore Construction on a one-year contract.

One other Ag Center issue was a report that one tenant has not made a lease payment since May. A letter has been sent to Center for Specialty Care requesting payment.

“I have called and talked to them and requested payment. They did acknowledge the rent had not been paid, but I have still not received any payment at this time,” Kennedy said. “They do rent the largest space in the building and their lease ends at the end of this month.”

The board instructed Kennedy to send them another letter, with a new lease and request payment before the lease will be renewed.

In other business at the meeting, the EDA:

• Discussed the CEDA contract for an EDA specialist for 2021. That position is held by Amy Schaefer for days per week.

EDA member John Huisman said in his opinion the CEDA contract should be for five days a week. He also suggested the need for a strategic planning session, led by a professional to help the EDA work on a plan.

The board voted to keep the CEDA contract at four days, but also have the planning session and possibly add another day later in the year.

• Agreed to pay $700 to go towards the housing rent for a new VISTA person who will begin the position in January.