Developer meets with EDA about site

NEW ULM–A developer met with members of the Economic Development Authority (EDA) regarding a site formerly considered for the third Garden Terrace.

No formal development proposal has come before the EDA, but the developer was sent a topography and utility map of the location to help determine what is viable on this site. The developer may return a proposal for the site.

Board member Les Schultz said he was already receiving calls and letters from residents concerned a new development near Garden Terrace would destroy the sight lines of certain people currently living in Garden Terrace.

Housing Coordinator Heather Bregel said the EDA had intended building a third Garden Terrace at this location, also blocking sight lines.

The height of the development would determine the level of obstruction. Board member Daniel Braam said the EDA discussed with the developer several alternatives for the site, including town-homes.

Braam felt there was a critical need for housing and this could alleviate the need.

“I have a belief that no matter what we do, some people are going to complain,” Braam said. “I think we can make it where it is attractive to the neighborhood, yet still provide a valuable function.”

Bregel said the topography of the site was lower than the other two buildings and the developer did discuss building to maintain sight lines.

Braam said there were other possibilities, including a courtyard space between buildings with amendments.

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The EDA board received an update on the economic development/assistant city manager position. Chris Dalton was originally hired for this position in April 2018. Dalton took over as an interim city manager in November 2018 and recently was appointed permanent city manager. The city is now seeking to refill the vacant economic development/assistant city manager position.

Dalton said there are 11 applicants for the position. Ten of the applicants were external. Dalton felt the number of external candidates was low. This is common in other communities. Dalton reached out to other cities and was informed applications for executive positions were down. Dalton suggested posting for the position again in six months to generate a larger pool of candidates.

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The EDA approved the public housing site improvement project. The project includes miscellaneous concrete repairs at Broadway Haus and ten family properties. These areas have significant cracks and other hazards in the sidewalk. The project is estimated at $10,000.

Schultz said it was critical to fix to prevent residents from tripping on walkways near these buildings.

Other items include installing a concrete pad on the Broadway Haus property to install a second bike rack, extending two front sidewalks to connect with the newly installed city sidewalk, repairing a section of sidewalk to prevent water pooling and repairing two garbage enclosures.

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