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Shaneman attends first EDA meeting since her hiring as ass’t city manager

NEW ULM — Audra Shaneman attended her first Economic Development Authority meeting as New Ulm’s new Assistant City Manager/Economic Development Director, Tuesday.

Shaneman officially started the position on Friday, July 5.

She thanked the board for the opportunity to come back and serve the New Ulm community.

“I am excited to work with the EDA and with any business that is trying to grow and expand in this community,” Shaneman said.

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The Homebuyer Assistance Loan program saw its first use this month. The loan program is intended to provide assistance to first-time homebuyers in New Ulm. The EDA-funded program would offer zero-percent, deferred-payment loans of up to $10,000. It can be used to help meet both a borrower’s down payment and closing cost requirements.

This program only requires the applicant to be a first-time homebuyer living or working 32 hours a week in New Ulm. There is no income restriction on the program.

New Ulm Housing Coordinator Heather Bregel said the program went live June 30. Two applications has been received. One application was pre-approved in the amount of $7,475 with closing on July 12. The other application had to be denied because the applicant was too far along in the process. Bregel there was not enough time for the city to process before the closing.

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A $34,100 bid was awarded to Full Service Electric for the Garden Terrace LED Lighting project. The plan was approved in April and bids were sent to two vendors. Full Service Electric submitted the low bid.

The project includes the conversion of interior lights in the entryways, hallways, stairwells, social rooms, libraries, public restrooms, office, garages, elevator cars, exterior lights and improvements in 88 apartment units.

LED upgrading will reduce energy consumption on monthly utility bills. The project should payback in less than two years. Staff will apply for PUC rebates upon project completion.

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City Manager Chris Dalton said staff is working with a potential developer for a multi-family housing project near the two Garden Terrace buildings.

Staff is in discussion for a potential business looking at the Target building, but Dalton said this is the preliminary phase.

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