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Leaky roof dampens plans for NY Mills Business Incubator

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Due to a leaky roof and other building problems, the official opening of the New York Mills Business Incubator has been postponed until April 2013. It was originally scheduled to open this month.

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Located in the old creamery building on Centennial Drive, the Business Incubator is a collaboration between the city of NY Mills and M-State. It is intended to encourage entrepreneurs to start businesses there by offering perks like reduced rates on office space.

The NY Mills Economic Development Authority decided in September to postpone the opening because of the building problems. The NY Mills Regional Cultural Center owns the building and is renting a portion of it out to the city.

The cultural center has applied for grant funds to pay for the roof repairs. Those repairs were not completed this summer as expected, but cultural center Director Jamie Robertson said in a phone interview Monday that the project is on the path to completion this fall.

There are currently no businesses housed in the incubator. One entrepreneur had been located in NY Mills, but has since moved to the Detroit Lakes program office.

Until the official opening, the city will not have to pay a monthly payment to M-State. In the meantime, M-State will continue to advertise the NY Mills program.

"We are going to try to move forward with a lot better communication," city councilor Richard Rankka said, speaking of the cultural center, M-State and the Business Incubator Board.

In other NY Mills news:

-The library received a $500 rebate from Otter Tail Power for upgrades to the lighting in the entryway and office.

-The library board requested an extra three hours of work a week for its part-time staff. This would add an estimated $2,000 to the library's annual budget, but would allow two employees to be at the library during opening hours. The city's budget committee is considering the request.

-The police department received a $100 donation from a person who was bitten by a bat in July. Officer Terry Frost responded to the call and gave the victim a ride to the hospital. Frost also brought the bat to the hospital to be tested.

-The liquor store is looking into purchasing its own ATM machine as well as a Jukebox from the company Independent Merchant Services. According to a report from liquor store staff, the cost of the machines would be paid off within 11 to 13 months. After that, the machines would bring in an estimated $7,320 in additional profit per year. A decision was postponed until more information about costs was available.

-A contract was signed last week with Mitchell Koep, CEO of A Better Wireless out of Henning. The company will rent water tower space for the placement of antennas to offer wireless Internet. By Nov. 1, A Better Wireless, LLC will have it's equipment up and running.

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