Former  supermarket building under contract

By Barbie Porter


Stop by Billy’s Corner Bar on Wednesday, April 21 at 5:30 p.m. for a free chicken dinner with side dishes. The popular eatery on Vergas’ Main Street is providing the venue for the Economic Development Authority’s annual meeting. The event is free and everyone is invited.

In addition to being fed a hearty meal, attendees will also learn what the EDA has been working on the past two years. Last year’s annual meeting was canceled as it was set to be held when the state  government required restaurants to close and limited government-orientated gatherings. 

One major accomplishment the attendees will learn about is the recently completed housing study. Vergas City Clerk Julie Lammers said the EDA will share detail about the housing market and current housing stock in the city. Tied in with the housing stock is the Otter Tail County’s Big Build opportunity, which will also be discussed.

Lammers said The Big Build project provides $5,000 in tax credits for five years on new residential structures built (and homesteaded) in Vergas. Lammers said there have been three houses built using the tax break since the program began. 

In addition to building homes those building commercial shops or expanding a business have also been given an incentive in Vergas. Lammers said the EDA will inform people more about that opportunity, and how it has been utilized. Lammers  divulged in addition to helping new and expanding businesses, the program also assists in renovations that result in accommodating additional work force members at the business.

Lammers said the opportunity for savings can range from $100 for a small project to thousands, all depending on the project size.

While the EDA will turn on the spotlight to show potential business owners, residents and those in the surrounding communities all they are doing to help the city thrive, speakers from other organizations that have similar missions were also invited. Among the guest speakers will be a representative from the Vergas Community Fund, West Central Initiative and Thrivent Financial.

The Vergas Community Fund will also have a representative share history of how the fund came to be in existence. Lammers said she believes the discussion will also include projects the group has completed and ones it is working on.

  West Central Initiative has assisted several city entities to provide tax deductible donation opportunities, grants and much more. A representative from West Central Initiative will share how the partnership of the two entities ha helped the Vergas community.

The final speaker is from Thrivent Financial and the discussion will include the many facets offered to help businesses and residents.

While the EDA planned discuss the former supermarket property along Main Street, that has been removed from the annual meeting agenda. During the EDA meeting it was  stated (and later confirmed by the real estate agent) that the building is under a purchase contract that is set to close in May.