The Zoning Ordinance Committee was working with SRF Consulting to complete a comprehensive update of Underwood’s zoning ordinance. Underwood’s previous zoning ordinance was written in 1974. The new ordinance eliminates dated language, facilitates consistent interpretation and enforcement, and provides regulatory direction that aligns with the City’s strategic plan for growth.
The UAEDC was working to update Underwood’s community marketing brochure. The new brochures were distributed in March 2014.
The UAEDC Board approved Revitalization Fund loans to Grimsley’s Fuel & Convenience and The Rusted Rail Bar & Grill for $20,000 each. Grimsley’s added four diesel fuel pumps and the Rusted Rail opened their restaurant in the Highway 83 commercial district.
Badlands Investment Group purchased the former Prairie View Nursing Home from Sanford Health. The nursing home had been sitting vacant after Sanford Health closed the facility in March of 2013. Through a small business incubator client, the UAEDC connected with Badlands Investment Group and facilitated conversations that led to BIG purchasing the nursing home building and repurposing it for office space and commercial truck driver accommodations.
The Underwood Rural Fire Protection District received a $100,000, 0% interest loan from the Rural Development Finance Corporation to be used in purchasing a new pumper truck costing $220,000. The URFDP also received a $15,000 grant
The Library kicked off its summer reading program with a free children’s concert by performer Steve Weeks in the North Country Bank parking lot. The Northern Expressions Arts Council provided a free photo booth from Digitally Yours Photography.
The UAEDC organized the sixth annual Beautification Day, which resulted in potting and placing of flowers in the downtown business district and Underwood entry sign on Highway 83, and new paint for the Underwood Senior Center. Ten volunteers assisted with the projects.
The Minot Magic Fund awarded the City of Underwood $3500 for community marketing.
Common Enterprise Development Corporation advertised for a new community & economic developer in Underwood. By November of 2014 three candidates were interviewed for the position but it was determined CEDC had not found the right person and that current developer Tyler Demars would be stay in the role.
The UAEDC started managing a charitable gaming pull tab machine at Underwood Grill & Lounge in July of 2013. Over the first 12 months of gaming operations the UAEDC contributed almost $5,000 to the Northern Expressions Arts Council and the Bring Back the Rose! Project.
This Main Street Grant Program supported two Underwood businesses. The Underwood Body Shop received a $10,000 grant to support the addition of a commercial paint booth and other facility upgrades (total project cost: $110,000). The Black Nugget received a $7,265 grant to support costs for new exterior paint and replacing flooring (total project costs: $14,530).
The 4th Annual Go Loco for Local Chili Cookoff was held in downtown Underwood. Over 90 participants submitted chili grading ballots and the Underwood Clinic defended their “Best Chili” title. The Northern Expressions Arts Council worked with several of Underwood’s young people to provide a Haunted House in the Rose Theater.
Through the Vision West McLean County Planning Initiative, the UAEDC was able to secure funding to support the McLean Sheridan Small Business Development Center into 2015 and beyond. Over $10,000 was contributed by the McLean County Growth Coalition. These funds will be matched by Small Business Administration funding. The MS SBDC had been supported with funding from USDA Rural Development, the Small Business Administration, and the City of Underwood.
In 2014, The McLean Sheridan Small Business Development Center served over 40 clients from Underwood, Washburn, Turtle Lake, Pick City, Coleharbor, Wilton, Bismarck, and Garrison.
The Northern Expressions Arts Council works to organize the Second Annual Underwood’s Got Talent Show, scheduled for January 31st, 2015.
Overall it was a good year for the Underwood Area Economic Development Corporation and we are looking forward to 2015. What do you think was Underwood’s most valuable development in 2014? What would you like the UAEDC to focus on in 2015? Give me a call at 701-595-1259 or email email@example.com. Happy New Year!