EDA might sell smaller lots in Milford Heights Addition

NEW?ULM – The Economic Development Authority agreed Tuesday that selling smaller lots in the Milford Heights Addition could spur development of residential properties.

The EDA currently owns several lots in Milford Heights, which were intended for development. Larger lots were placed on the market, but the smaller lots were set aside for plans to build homes on them. Early on the EDA felt it was unlikely anyone would be interested in purchasing the smaller lots, and it chose to take charge of their development.

City Manager Brian Gramentz suggested that if a party expressed interest in purchasing the smaller lots, it made sense for the EDA to sell. “If our goal is to get homes built as fast as possible,” Gramentz said. “I don’t have a problem selling one of these.” The rest of the board agreed by consensus to sell if a buyer was found.

Section 8 housing

A report on Section 8 housing showed that in January housing assistance payments to landlords were higher than disbursements made by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by $1,715. Housing Coordinator Heather Bregel explained that the difference could be covered through the department’s reserves, but additional funds could be requested if necessary.

Bregel later explained that in response to the recent federal government sequester, HUD is attempting to hold all funds in its accounts to decrease the amount borrowed on the federal level. Bregel said that since the sequester, HUD payments have varied month to month, forcing her department to estimate how much funding will be received.

Housing revenue is up, exceeding expenditures by $25,472. Broadway Haus is fully leased with 17 individuals on the waiting list. Family units are fully leased with 29 on the waiting list. Garden Terrace Apartments currently has four vacancies, with three turnovers in the last month.

Garden Terrace recently experienced a sprinkler leak. Repairs are under way, but the cold temperatures have slowed the process. A service call was also made to Broadway Haus Apartments regarding a generator that would not start. Gramentz explained that these issues require immediate attention, and often action is taken prior to the EDA’s authorization.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, Donna Shipp was sworn in as the new member of the EDA.

The next EDA meeting is scheduled for March 11.

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