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City OKs revolving loan for local business
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It took just a matter of minutes for the Great Bend City Council to unanimously approve Monday night a $43,300 loan to Custom Re-Bath from the city’s Economic Development Revolving Loan fund.
The loan is part of a funding package assembled by the Great Bend company to purchase the land and buildings at 3810-3812 10th St. in Great Bend – the former site of Bell Rental and Equipment and Bumper to Bumper Auto Parts store (Bumper to Bumper will lease space at the location). Other money is coming from a $43,300 EDRLF loan from Barton County, a similar sized loan from the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce’s E-Community program and $255,000 from the Community Bank of the Midwest.
The Barton County Commission approved its loan Monday morning in a split vote, but it was contingent on the council’s approval.
The total cost of the expansion is $355,000. The city would lend the its portion for 10 years at 6.5 percent.
Patty Richardson, executive director of Dodge City-based Great Plains Development, said the project meets all the requirements for such an economic development loan. A project must create at least one job for every $35,000 loaned and 51 percent of those jobs must be of low to moderate income, which this does.
And, she said, the city has about $180,000 in the fund so money is available.
Richardson said Custom Re-Bath will sink about $40,000 into the facility for remodeling so it can house both the company’s showroom and warehouse. Currently, the showroom is at 1702 Main and the storage site is on Third Street. It will also expand into kitchen remodeling.
The fund was created a number of years ago when the city received a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce which the city, in turn, loaned to a business. The loan was paid off and the money, along with the interest, stayed with the city so it could be used again.
 In other business, the council:
• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign an agreement with Venture Corporation of Great Bend to do residential street resurfacing for 2012. Venture’s bid for the mill and overlay, using 20 percent recycled materials, came to $486,880.80 for 30 blocks of low-volume streets. Because of the use of recycled material, the cost of the project is lower than anticipated, so an extra three blocks will be done. That will add to the price of the project, but the total will still fall below $500,000.
• Authorized Allison to sign agreements with the Kansas Department of Transportation. The first allows the city to be reimbursed by KDOT for its providing inspection services on the Kansas Avenue repair project. Since the city handled the work in-house, no money is changing hands, but it will help lower the cost of the repairs. The second agreement relates to the connecting links (the stretches of state and federal highways that pass through a community). These are maintained by the city so the state reimburses the city for the work per lane mile. The city will get $71,364. This money is available every year.
• Approved a motion allowing the city to partner with Barton County on the improvements of Railroad Avenue between Main Street and Washington Avenue. Venture Corporation will do the work which will cost $116,466.50. The county will cover 70.3 percent and the city 29.7 percent.
The council signed off on the partnership when it met Feb. 6. The original plan called for a cold-mix overlay, but the hot-mix option, although more expensive, will last longer. The cost of the project was originally about $103,000, so the city’s portion increased about $5,000.
The street will maintain its concave shape, which allows for water to pool down the center. To replace that with a raised crown down the center would require a new drainage system and cost over $1 million.
• Approved abatement requests for: 329 Maple, owned by Iquana Investments LLC., for accumulation of refuse; 117 Maple, owned by Larry/Mary Lauber, for accumulation of refuse; 1215 Madison, list as Thomas Shorock c/o John/ Melissa Herren, for a motor vehicle nuisance; 2518 8th, owned by Alejandro/Gloria Hernandez, for a motor vehicle nuisance; 216 Chestnut, owned by Roy Crabtree, for accumulation of refuse; 2403 31st, owned by Robert/Nicole Wiley, for accumulation of refuse; and 607 Holland, owned by Corrosion Proof Fitting Company, for accumulation of refuse.