Board hears project updates

FAIRMONT– Earlier this week, the Fairmont Economic Development Authority (FEDA) met and heard a number of updates from Economic Development Coordinator, Ned Koppen.

One of the updates was on a new partnership between FEDA and the county’s EDA on engaging with a retail coach.

“I shared that last week we had a representative of the retail coach here in town and we spent a better portion of a day discussing, strategizing and touring available sites,” Koppen said.

This week, he said the representative is at a national conference in Indiana, talking about Fairmont as a community that retailers can land in.

“I did some work and Amber (Patten) with Martin County EDA came up with some properties and while we drove around town he got a feel for the town and traffic patterns. It’s off to a good start,” Koppen said.

The board also heard a presentation from Crystal Hanson about a high performance coaching academy she would like to bring to the area beginning in January or February.

“It got some pretty good question and answer from the board. I think those who were there were supportive of it and believes it will be a worthy addition to things that are available in the community,” Koppen said.

The importance of and details of succession planning was also touched on. When Koppen held the role of President of the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce, several workshops on succession planning for local businesses took place.

“Since then, I’ve continued to try to figure the best ways to carry that forward with education and resources. It’s an important thing and this is a continuation on my part. This should be in the toolbox of tools FEDA has to offer when people need it,” Koppen said.

The board also received a brief update on the status of Shenanigan’s, a bar located on E. 3rd Street in Fairmont which recently closed.

“In October we made some accommodations so that a sale could happen with the existing loan with the owners at that time. I shared that the new owner is there and digging into the building. That was a positive thing we did in making that accommodation,” Koppen said.

The new owner is making some improvements to the building and is planning to open after the first of the year.

“He has a lot of work to do but is really enthusiastic and I hope he gets everything done the way he wants. It will be a great addition,” Koppen said.

A groundbreaking for Midwest Shop Condos, new industrial commercial units in Fairmont Industrial park, took place late last month. Koppen said he shared with the board that dirt will soon be moving there.

Finally, Koppen said, “We approved an extension agreement with Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership (SWMHP).”

At last month’s meeting, the board approved of SWMHP working with local business Remax to market the properties at White Tail Ridge in Fairmont.


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