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Villard housing project could take place in 2017

By Zach Anderson

Villard may see a fourplex housing unit in 2017, rather than 2018. The Pope County Housing and Redevelopment Authority with Economic Development powers (HRA/EDA) heard that Cody Nelson, of Sauk Centre, is interested in transferring the contract recently approved for Timothy Dally to his name instead.

The board approved the transfer of the contract from Dally to Nelson pending receiving a letter from Nelson’s bank regarding financial standing with the option to use TIF (tax increment financing) if Nelson wants.

At a prior meeting, the HRA/EDA approved a purchase agreement with Dally for the block of land the HRA/EDA owns in Villard on Commercial Ave. The market study completed by AdMark Resources for Villard came back with very positive for the feasibility of building market rate rental housing.

In a letter to the board, Nelson stated that he recently purchased a fourplex from Dally in Elrosa and would like to expand on that venture. Dally told Nelson there was an opportunity in Villard for 2017.

Consultant Jason Murray said that Dally left it up to the board if they wanted to see a project completed in 2017 in Villard or not.

Board member Larry Kittelson said if Nelson wants to get the project done in 2017 then the board should approve it.

Nelson said in the letter that he plans to use the majority of the same contractors that Dally has and has a projected start date of sometime in May. Nelson estimated rent-ready completion three to four months later.

ACT Work Ready
Communities Initiative discussion

The Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce withdrew its request for $5,000 of additional funds to cover travel expenses to ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative academies for two additional people.

Murray heard from West Central Initiative Program Director Wendy Merrick that they approved a change of the budget on the Pope County Work Ready Communities Pilot Project grant to move $1,200 from the marketing budget and $3,800 from testing/certification expenses to the travel budget to cover the additional $5,000.

At the last meeting, the board tabled a request from Scott Formo and Lloyd Campbell of the Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce for $5,000 to cover travel expenses for two additional people to attend ACT Work Ready Communities Initiative academies. At the academies, people are trained how to train others when they return home.

The HRA/EDA is a partner agency with the ACT project.

Work Ready Communities (WRC) uses a program called the National Career Readiness Certificate to measure and close the skills gap. After the program is installed, businesses would recognize the results of the certificate and make hiring decisions based what applicants scored.

In other action, the board:

• Approved using T & B Lawn Care for three fertilizer applications for the Bay Meadows property in Starbuck.

The Starbuck Times
The Starbuck Times