Loans the big topic at EDA Meeting

By: 
Chad Smith

Loans were the main topic on a lighter night for the Rushford Economic Development Authority (EDA) last Wednesday, June 12, in the Rushford City Hall. One of the business items included helping a local business with expansion plans and another with someone looking to retire.

L&L Volkman Auto Body Expansion

Leigh and Kayla Volkman of L & L Volkman Auto Body Repair of Rushford came before the EDA board looking for financial help with some expansion plans. They want to move their auto body business into a new location at 905 Enterprise Drive.

“The total project will run about $350,000 to make the move,” Chladek said. “They’ll need to do about $50,000 in improvements at the new location. They’ll be borrowing $180,000 from a bank and another $120,000 from the EDA. The board took a look at a written evaluation I put together on the health of the business.

“I made the recommendation of loaning $120,000 to them at 2.5 percent interest for a term of 20 years,” he added. “After some deliberation, the EDA board decided to go forward on that. The EDA’s recommendation then went to the City Council on Monday, June 17. The EDA funds will be used to help the Volkman’s purchase their new facility at the end of August.”

Litscher Meats Loan Forgiveness

Terry Litscher of Litscher Meats requested that the EDA board for loan forgiveness as he’d like to get out of the business. Chladek said Litscher’s real estate agent provided the EDA with an actual purchase agreement for his building.

“The EDA is being asked to forgive all the loans related to that facility,” Chladek said. “The EDA has previously said it wasn’t willing to forgive the entire amount. After some discussion the other night, they decided to stay in that position.”

Chladek shared that decision with Litscher’s real estate agent, who will then share it with Litscher. Chladek said, “Terry (Litscher) will then have to decide how he wants to go about satisfying his loans with the city.”

Jessie Street Java Parklet

Amy Feller of Jessie Street Java has come up with an interesting way to expand the business. They’ve filed a permit application for a parklet. A Wiki article describes a parklet as “as sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street.” Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the same level and provide space for things like tables and chairs. Parklets essentially occupy the area that would otherwise be taken up by parking spaces.

“Because the parklet would be along a state highway, we have to work on it with the Department of Transportation,” Chladek said. “If we can get this pulled off, it would be the first parklet in the entire state of Minnesota set up along a state highway.”

Schedule

The next Rushford EDA meeting is set for Wednesday, July 2, at 5:30 pm in the Rushford City Hall.