The Dayton City Council talked in more detail about creating a small business grant program that would CARES Act funds to help out businesses in the city struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council also canceled the city’s Clean-up Day event that was originally scheduled for this month. There was also an update on the Pineview Lane project during the meeting.

SMALL BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM

City Administrator Tina Goodroad said the city received CARES Act funding to be used for eligible expenses related to the pandemic. One of those eligible expenses is to give out grants to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

The council previously discussed earmarking $50,000 for business assistance grants.

“One thing the council would like to do is earmark dollars for business grants,” she said. “Many communities are doing this. I am proposing a straight-up grant program.”

City staff prepared criteria for the program and it was reviewed by the Economic Development Authority, which recommended support but requested that all applications be considered during the open period of the application versus on a first come first serve basis as originally written. Depending on the number of applications the grant awards may have to be smaller than $10,000.

Grant agreements would be approved by the council.

The city is using remaining CARES Act funds for equipment to support work from home, improved meeting capabilities, fire department needs related to PPE and protection of staff, general PPE for all staff, election needs and expanding broadband to some rural areas to provide an alternative option for high-speed internet to support the continued school and work from home.

Goodroad said there may be about $80,000 left after all these expenses. Some of this money would need to go to supplies. She did suggest the council could contribute more funds to the business grant program if there is a large interest.

The city is planning to have the application on its website. The applications would most likely need to be completed by the end of September. No specific date is mentioned as of yet.

“I’d like to get this money out as soon as possible,” Mayor Tim McNeil said. “I would like to see if we can’t have a number of Sept. 22, so we can have a discussion and say, ‘Look, we need $30,000 more for business grants, let’s do that.’”

Councilor Jon Mellberg asked how potential qualifying businesses would be notified of the program. Goodroad said information would be on the city’s website and the city’s Facebook page.

The council will look small business grant program at the end of September.

CLEAN-UP DAY

The city of Dayton has canceled its Clean-Up Day. The event had originally been scheduled for Sept. 12.

City staff canceled the Clean-up Day in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the community safe and healthy.

PINEVIEW LANE UPDATE

The council was also provided with an update on the Pineview Lane construction project. The project includes reconstructing Pineview Lane between 129th Avenue (south end) and South Diamond Lake Road (north end). A roundabout is proposed to be constructed at the intersection of County Road 121 and Pineview Lane. The proposed project includes roadway improvements, storm sewer construction, and trail connection/improvements.   

Trees were cleared in the ravines east of Oakview Lane and along the south side of County Road 121. The area of clearing south of County Road 121 includes areas in the Three Rivers Parks property where the new trail connections and stormwater pond are planned.

The city’s website provided another update on Aug. 28. This week, construction along County Road 121 for the storm sewer will begin, as well as the retaining wall along Pineview Lane.

County Road 121 was closed Aug. 18. Residents living along Pineview Lane are asked to continue to access their neighborhood from the north by entering Pineview from South Diamond Lake Road. This closure is expected to last for 90 days, but this may be extended if there are weather or other delays.

Completion is expected next summer.

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