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Tim Penny tells County Board of day care issues

Tim Penny tells County Board of day care issues

Tim Penny tells County Board of day care issue July 8, 2018 Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer , Faribault County Register   At last Tuesday's County Board meeting, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) President and...

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Three Sisters project revealed

Three Sisters project revealed

Three Sisters project revealed Over 100 hear of ambitious vision for the three sites May 6, 2018 Chuck Hunt - Register Editor (chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com"    Just over 100 residents of Blue Earth came to Hamilton Hall...

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Holl takes over as Wells administrator

Holl takes over as Wells administrator

Holl takes over as Wells administrator Former business owner has served on 3 different city councils May 13, 2018 Katie Mullaly - Register Staff Writer (kmullaly@faribaultcountyregister.com"   It has been a highly anticipated arrival for...

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County EDA says 'thanks, but no thanks'

County EDA says ‘thanks, but no thanks’ They turn down offer to take over FCDC’s $14,350 web domain February 25, 2018 Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer , Faribault County Register   The now disbanded Faribault County...

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She's all excited about the job

She's all excited about the job

She’s all excited about the job New CEDA rep ready to help Blue Earth, Faribault County February 4, 2018 Chuck Hunt - Register Editor , Faribault County Register   She may be new to the job, but...

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Blue Earth ready to get REVed up

Blue Earth ready to get REVed up

Blue Earth ready to get REVed up REV group will help out businesses July 1, 2018 Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer , Faribault County Register   With the help of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF),...

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County EDA opts to hire full-time director

County EDA opts to hire full-time director July 22, 2018 Robert Brewer - Register Staff Writer (rbrewer@faribaultcountyregister.com"    The Faribault County Economic Development Authority passed a motion at the last EDA meeting in Blue...

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Ground Breaking

Looking to the future Construction begins on new North Industrial Park July 20, 2014 By Chuck Hunt - Register Editor chunt@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register Just shortly after an official...

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A Million Dollar Announcement

BE receives grant for industrial park.  by Chuck Hunt, Faribault County Register, September 30, 2013.  It was the news that city of Blue Earth officials have been holding their breath...

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It's Actually Happening - Albert Lea Tribune.com, by Kelli Lageson, May 15,…

WELLS — It’s finally coming together.That was the sentiment echoed by many who attended the groundbreaking for the new school building on Wednesday in Wells. Dirt is already being moved...

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Three Sisters project revealed

Over 100 hear of ambitious vision for the three sites

May 6, 2018
Just over 100 residents of Blue Earth came to Hamilton Hall last Wednesday evening to hear all about a new proposal for the Three Sisters buildings in downtown Blue Earth.

Janie Hanson, the founder and CEO of a company called Connect the Grey, was at the open house to explain what she and her company are planning for the now city-owned buildings.

Hanson, a Blue Earth native and graduate of BEA High School, explained the plan which included a total makeover of the three structures and turning them into a series of businesses. They included a possible art gallery, art studio, wine/coffee bar and a bakery/cafe.

Article Photos

Janie Hanson of Connect the Grey stands by an artists mockup of what the Three Sisters could look like.

 
 
 
"Our project is called Rural Renaissance," Hanson explained. "We have five pillars we are trying to use for this project, including technology, arts and culture, local foods and health and wellness."

Hanson and her company have had an exclusive 90-day option on the Three Sisters buildings from the City of Blue Earth and its Economic Development Authority, which has taken over ownership of all the buildings and has made some improvements to them.

That 90-day exclusive option has now expired. However, during that period Hanson and her team have investigated the structures, developed their plans and have been in discussion with the city about possible financing.

There have been several closed sessions at both City Council and EDA meetings to discuss the proposals from Connect the Grey, but no agreement has yet been reached, according to city administrator Tim Ibisch.

At last Thursday's open house, Hanson had all the people in attendance write down what they would like to see go into the three buildings, and then rate them by importance. After all the tabulation things such as art gallery, cafe, bakery and technology came out on top.

"We are looking for community support and community involvement," Hanson said. "We are looking for people interested in doing some of these things, and working with us."

Financing the project is a big part of it, she adds.

"This is a big capital improvement project for the city," Hanson explains. "We are looking at numbers with a lot of zeros behind it. So we are trying to see if there is community support, and interest in this. And it looks like there is from the turnout tonight."

City administrator Tim Ibisch said after the meeting that the city has been in negotiations with Connect the Grey. So far, he says, the city is willing to invest $350,000 in the form of a grant and a loan. But, the Connect the Grey group is looking for a more substantial investment from the city, to the tune of $750,000, Ibisch added.

"The city wants to continue to work with Connect the Grey as long as we can," Ibisch said. "The City Council will be discussing this in depth again on Monday (May 7) at their regular meeting, and we have invited Janie and her group to be there."