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DEED awards $19 million in grants for rehabilitation and infrastructure

July 14, 2018

The Department of Employment and Economic Development on Wednesday awarded grants totaling $19 million to 35 small cites and counties for rehabilitation and infrastructure projects.

The funding will contribute to rehabilitating housing and commercial buildings and updating public infrastructure.

“The vitality of our communities depends upon strong infrastructure and good, affordable housing,” Gov. Mark Dayton said. “These grants will help improve those essential resources in communities throughout Minnesota.”

Each project must either benefit people of low and moderate incomes, eliminate slum and blighted conditions or eliminate an urgent threat to public health or safety.

Lake City received $809,400 to put towards owner-occupied housing rehabilitation and commercial building rehabilitation. The Mississippi Bluffs Region city has a goal of 17 owner-occupied rehabilitations and 12 commercial rehabilitations.

Lake City City Administrator Rob Keehn said these projects are important to the area’s vibrance and viability.

“While we are seeing new construction in residential, commercial, and industrial sectors locally, we have many older houses in well-established neighborhoods that have had maintenance deferred,” Keehn said. “Also, with many of our buildings in the downtown pushing over 100 years old, it becomes more difficult to maintain these structures and keep them as viable business locations.

“Both of these areas are important to the community, because reinvesting in existing housing stock and our historic downtown improves access to affordable housing and maintains the character of our lakeside business community.”

Other area cities receiving grants included $824,698 in Caledonia, $303,600 in Elgin, $287,500 in Eyota and $296,349 in Winona.

Keehn said the Lake City grant will be administered by the Southeast Minnesota Multi-County Housing and Redevelopment Authority, which will take applications and determine eligibility. The city will then act as the fiscal agent for managing the money and grant disbursement.

All of the projects utilizing these funds must be completed within 30 months.

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