Green Isle City Council, EDA Set a Straight Course
Mayor Kreger Apologizes for ‘Over Exuberance’
Thursday, April 20, 2017 9:21 AM
Green Isle Economic Development Authority (EDA) President Randal Bruegger attended last Tuesday’s (April 11) city council meeting with a purpose. Speaking for the EDA, he wanted to ask the council to send businesses interested in Green Isle to the EDA.
Bruegger, who served two terms as Green Isle’s mayor, represented an EDA whose members were frustrated by Mayor Joe Kreger usurping the role of the EDA when a group of investors in a brewery recently displayed some interest in bringing plans for a brewery to the city. Last month, Kreger led city council on discussion on a proposal to offer the investors a lot in the city’s business park, on waiving assessments and a possible tax abatement as an enticement to locate in Green Isle.
But the way the EDA sees things, those discussions should have occurred with the EDA before the city council took up the matter.
Kreger understood the EDA was “a little upset” with how the council handled the issue at the March 27 city council meeting. The council sent the EDA the steps it approved with direction the EDA should endorse the city council’s plan.
“If you guys are going to do that, what’s the point of having an EDA,” Bruegger said.
Bruegger delivered the EDA’s request that it be the first point of contact for anyone interested in economic development in Green Isle. Bruegger said the EDA could work with a business interested in Green Isle to see what the business needs and then offer a recommendation to the city council.
Kreger apologized only for his “over exuberance.” He said he didn’t believe Green Isle had time to wait for the next regularly scheduled EDA meeting. He said he had no regrets taking the lead on promoting the city as a possible home for investors looking for a home for a brewery.
“I handled it the way I handled it,” Kreger said.
Councilor Mark Wentzlaff agreed with Bruegger’s recommendation. He said the city council wants the EDA to be involved. “We’d like to develop this town,” Wentzlaff said. Councilor Diane Brown said the EDA could be “a helpful tool” to Green Isle. She wants to see the EDA be more active in working to promote Green Isle.
The city council unanimously agreed the EDA would be the first stop for businesses looking to come to Green Isle or existing businesses eyeing expansion.
Green Isle will hold its annual cleanup day Saturday (April 22, 8 a.m. to noon,) at the city maintenance shop.
In other action at the April 11 meeting, the Green Isle City Council:
• Paid bills totaling $42,034.72.
• Heard a report from City Attorney Ross Arneson that developers Norm Beckman and Bill Feldman of NB Development sent the $11,700 contract-for-deed payments they owed on the 43 undeveloped lots in Green Isle. The city will begin to invoice NB Development for payments. The next payment is due in July.
• Accepted a quote from William Mueller & Sons of $4,187 for repave a portion of an alley between Cleveland and McGrann. The alley had previously been paved and property owners assessed. But the payment has fallen into disrepair. Residents have been asked to bringing their garbage/recycling bins to the street in front of their houses to keep the heavy trucks off the alley payment. The city plans to install signing directing delivery trucks to city streets to preserve the pavement.
• Approved a quote of $275 from Kohls Sweeping and Striping Service of Hutchinson to paint angled parking spaces on Lake Erin Drive near the playground south of Highway 25. The council also agreed to have Kohls sweep city streets later this spring.
• Agreed to have Kreger and the city’s maintenance worker inspect city sidewalks to begin planning and budgeting for staged repairs.