Clarkfield Council gets update from EDA

Jess Gorman
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune

    The Clarkfield city council moved quickly through a brisk agenda on Tuesday, January 19. In general Council business, committee designations were made for the governing body as well as President and Vice President designations.    

    The meatiest agenda topic was out of the Clarkfield EDA.  The Economic Development Authority directed by Webb gave a summary report.  The Administration Fund (#240) ended the year in the positive. The EDA also continues to receive an annual, consistent income from their land lease agreement with Wes Huseby. Expenses were all anticipated, with the exception of a $200 fee that the EDA Board paid to the city attorney for services provided in relation to the sale of the Clarkfield Café to Natasha Lynne.Total 2020 Revenue for the EDA was $5,083.75 with a Total $3,569.96 in expenses for 2020.   

     EDA Apartment Fund (#603) lost money in 2020. This was mostly due to 2 factors with the first being, the EDA began it’s payback to the General Fund for the 2019 transfer that the city council made to cover the 2019 housing bond payment. The EDA made 8 payments of $3,761.29 for a total of $30,090.32. The second reasoning was due to COVID, the city did experience some gaps in our apartment rentals throughout the year that typically would have been rented with one tenant becoming late on their rent payments.   

     The EDA should anticipate that the EDA Apartment Fund (#603) will have another loss in 2021 as well. This will also be prompted by two major factors. The first, the EDA will make the 2021 Housing Bond payment on its own this year. In addition to that payment the EDA Board will also have to continue to pay back the General Fund for the remainder of the 2019 and then the 2020 Bond payments that the General Fund completed. The remaining balance on that payback is $58,544.68. The EDA Director, Webb, will be consulting with the EDA Board to see how much of that remaining balance can be paid back in 2021. Fun #603 reported the following 2020 figures: Revenue of $155,827.45 and Expenses of $163,167.38.   

     EDA account #9398 showed good signs of growth in 2020. The account holds the #240 Admin Fund, #245 EDA Loan Fund, and the #603 Apartment Fund. With a separate Café checking account accounting for all of the café expenses, the strength of the EDA apartments has shown through as a positive cashflow generator. EDA Director Webb recommended the EDA Board should make it a priority to pay off the 1999 Series Housing Bonds early. The Director’s calculations show that the EDA would be able to pay this bond off in its entirety by the end of 2023. Paying that specific bond off early would “free up” an additional $10,000 - $11,000 annually in the #603 Apartment Fund.   

     In closing it was noted account #5306 gained interest in 2020 ending at a balance of $25,787.28, but overall, not moved much one way or the other. The current EDA Board plans to hold a discussion about what this money is for and how to best utilize it in the future with the Director recommending that the EDA Board should designate account #5306 as the Clarkfield EDA Revolving Loan Program/Account. Incoming loan payments would come into this account (ex. Clarkfield Enterprises) and outgoing microloans from the Clarkfield EDA would be issued from this account as well. However, Webb recommended that this designation only occur after the EDA Board has fully paid back the General Fund for the 2019 and 2020 Housing Bond Payments.    

    The next city council meeting will fall on Tuesday February 2 2021.