New Prague joins small cities program

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council has authorized city participation in the Small Cities Development Program in Le Sueur County.

The program will provide funding for housing and rental and commercial rehabilitation for property owners, according to John Con-sodine of the Region 9 Development Commission, a regional council of governments serving South Central Minnesota.

Consodine explained at the council's Monday, Aug. 17, meeting they were asking cities to participate in a pre-application at this time. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development will review the pre-applications before inviting entities to submit full applications. New Prague would be a partner in the program with the majority of Le Sueur County communities. He noted Montgomery currently has a similar program.

Under the program, funds would be provided from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Proposed projects would have to meet one of three federal objectives: Be of benefit to low and moderate income persons; eliminate slum and blight conditions, or eliminate an urgent threat to public health or safety. In addition, needs impact and cost effectiveness must be documented and the general public must be involved in the application process.

Mayor W.A. Bink Bender asked if the program would extend to New Prague residents who live in Scott County. The city is located in both Scott and Le Sueur counties.

Consodine said he would inquire, but he didn't believe Scott County businesses would be eligible for the program.

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