EDA joins group to save on new requirement for housing assessments

NEW ULM The Economic Development Authority accepted on Tuesday a group proposal from Ameresco to perform a Green Physical Need Assessment.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a new regulation that requires Housing Authorities to complete a Green Physical Need Assessment (GPNA) every five years.

The GPNA involves a comprehensive assessment of the physical condition of HUD housing. Agencies are required to conduct energy audits of all developments.

To keep the costs down, 13 Housing Authorities in southwest Minnesota joined together to solicit GPNA proposals as a group.

Six proposals were received from vendors. After a conference with the other Housing Authorities, the majority voted to go with Ameresco at a cost of $13,370. Ameresco was not the lowest bid, but the group also looked at experience and past performance. This cost is significantly lower than if the New Ulm EDA had asked for an individual proposal.

Tax error

City Manager Brian Gramentz informed the EDA that a $2,092.39 payment error was made to the New Ulm EDA by Milford Township tax payers. Three parcels of land had been assigned to the City of New Ulm. The three parcels had been paying to New Ulm rather than to the township. The parcel owners will receive a refund from New Ulm. Brown County will subtract the difference from City payments. Gramentz suggested utilizing reserves rather than re-levy to cover the shortfall.

Broadway Haus

Laraway Roofing submitted a report on the roof at Broadway Haus. The report suggested minor repairs could wait until spring. City Councilor EDA representative Ken RockVam asked if it were prudent to wait until spring, fearing another harsh winter.

EDA Coordinator Heather Bregel said Laraway was asked to do the repairs before it snows. The amount of repairs is estimated at $,1000. Laraway will inspect the roof each spring and fall and make necessary repairs. The frequent maintenance should extend the life of the roof by several years.

In other action, the EDA:

Approved the replacement of two decks on public housing units. Contractor Bussler & Son will do the work using treated wood for $3,994.

Approved using proceeds from the sale of two lots on Lee Avenue to make a payment to the interfund loan to the city of $29,515.

Learned that Broadway Haus and the family units are fully leased. Garden Terrace currently has three vacancies due to turnovers in the past month.

Learned that the spec house at 632 Pfaender Drive is nearly finished. Another spec house is expected to be finished in late September. Realtor bids were mailed out and will likely be on the September EDA agenda.

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