2012 a challenging and successful year for CDA

CDA Financial Condition: 2012 was a successful yet challenging year for the CDA. The Agency continues to maintain a solid financial condition despite events negatively impacting revenue projections- reduced county tax levy revenues, a difficult economy and recession.

CDA Rental Properties: Performance of the over 600 units of total rental housing under the Carver County CDA’s ownership was excellent in 2012 with an overall average occupancy rate of 99 percent.

Major Achievements and Highlights of 2012 included:
• In January of 2012, the CDA acquired Waybury Apartments in Chaska. The CDA purchased the 114 unit senior rental building. The CDA acquired the property using an assumed mortgage from Minnesota Housing and issuance of general obligation housing revenue bonds with backing from Carver County.

• In August of 2012, the CDA entered into a cost reimbursement agreement with the City of Carver for 36 acres of Carver property owned by the CDA. The site was approved for a concept plan by the City Council as well as annexed into the City of Carver from Dahlgren Township for the planned use of a 400 stall park and ride facility; approximately 45 single family housing lots; and two multi-family apartment buildings.

• The CDA took advantage of record low interest rates and Carver County’s AAA bond rating to refund several outstanding bonds for our existing properties that will result in financing savings of approximately $700,000.

• The CDA announced the beginning of the Open to Business Program with the MCCD. The Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers Open to Business Program provides both business consulting and financing for emerging entrepreneurs, with most projects dealing with loans of less than $50,000 and is geared towards assisting very small emerging local businesses.

• Announced the Acceptance of Publicly Owned Housing Program (POHP) Loan from Minnesota Housing for Spruce Apartments rehabilitation in Waconia in the amount of $243,900

• The CDA Board approved Everwood Development’s plan for Creek’s Run Townhomes in Chaska. The 80 unit rental townhome development will provide 4 units for homeless

• Announced in September the CDA received a Housing Trust Fund Program Tenant-Based Rental Assistance Grant from the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency for $85,000. The funds are to be used for ending long-term homelessness by providing assistance for permanent rental housing.

• The CDA was awarded a perfect 100 housing score by the Metropolitan Council for 2012. The Metropolitan Council scores government entities in the Twin Cities Metro on their involvement and creation of rental housing programs, rehabilitation, services, etc. for affordable housing.

• The CDA worked with its community partners on addressing homelessness in Carver County. This was achieved through staff’s involvement with the Heading Home Plan to end homelessness.

Economic Development: The CDA operates a Business Loan Fund (BLF). The CDA is pleased to announce that at the end of 2012, the fund continues its excellent track record of a 0 percent default rate and is performing 100 percent. In other highlights of the fund, the CDA did the following with the BLF:

• The newest loan for $149,999 in participation with Security Bank of Waconia and the City of Waconia’s EDA (Tax Increment Finance and Tax Abatement) for a new Ground Round restaurant in Waconia. It is anticipated the restaurant will be open by February of 2013 and will result in the creation of approximately 70 part time or 30 full time equivalent jobs.

• Extended Auto Body Specialties of NYA loan of $50,000 via the CDA Business Loan Fund (BLF) loan for an additional 3 years.

CDA Partnerships with Carver County: Work on the County’s fiber optic network continued. The 89 mile ring and the planned laterals have been installed and testing is nearing completion. The County is now working on getting the fiber connected to facilities with a plan to go live in May 2013. The CDA is working with the County to install some fiber connections to its properties.

Over 30 homeowners have received Septic Loans through Carver County in 2012. Applicants pay a fee to the CDA for processing the application and insuring that the loan is properly assessed through the property tax system. The CDA conducts the successful program with Carver County to eliminate septic system failures and groundwater and lake contamination.

The CDA worked with Carver County to work in partnership on the County’s Strategic Plan that was updated to include new goals and tasks under the areas of Communities, Culture, Connections, Finances and Growth.

The CDA and Carver County developed a joint fuel and maintenance purchasing program for CDA vehicles at the Public Works facility in Cologne; conducted joint technology sharing services with Carver County IT Department, and served as an active member of the Carver County Leaders group.

Internally, in 2012 the CDA revised its paid time off (PTO) and sick leave policies to be more effective and reduce administrative burdens while retaining and encouraging top talent and worker retention.

The Carver County CDA Board of Commissioners are Mike Schachterle, Chair, Sarah Carlson, Vice Chair, Cindy Monroe, Treasurer, Darrell Sudheimer, and LaVonne Kroells. The CDA’s work in 2012 could not have been done without all of the hard working and dedicated employees of the CDA.

Julie Frick is the executive director of the Carver County CDA. The CDA conducts housing and economic development activities for the cities and residents of Carver County.