West Bend officials revise revolving loan fund
Real estate investment and residential building companies to become eligible

By RALPH CHAPOCO - Daily News

April 14, 2017

Common Council members voted during the April 3 meeting to approve revisions to the revolving loan fund they oversee to include real estate investment and residential building companies that were once considered ineligible for favorable loans to fund infrastructure projects.

“This is an economic development tool the city has put in place,” Administrator Jay Shambeau said. “We are fortunate to be in a position to grant these dollars to recruit businesses, entities regarding job growth. Our current procedures for the revolving loan fund don’t allow us to grant a loan to individuals if they are tied to any type of residential.”

In a subsequent interview, Shambeau cited storefronts in the downtown area with rental properties above them as examples of such business enterprises that were previously excluded from accessing revolving loan fund dollars.

The modification does not alter the loan’s purpose, tying the measure to job growth, but they can be allocated to a combination business that also includes residential properties.

“This is really an endorsement of a mixed-use type project, not a purely residential-type project because of the jobs that a mixed-use type of development can bring and I think that is an increasingly common type of development, especially in the commercial sector,” City Attorney Ian Prust said.

West Bend representatives oversee a fund totaling about $500,000 they can use to loan money, for favorable terms, to businesses for various projects tied to job creation.

“If a business were expanding, or relocating, to West Bend, they would be eligible based on the number of new employees,” Shambeau said.

The intent of the fund is to recruit and to award loan dollars to highly-skilled jobs. The more positions the firm can generate based on the project, the higher the potential loan amount they will receive.

Officials have loaned money to Spalding Clinical and other firms who have completed an application, were interviewed by economic development staff and approved by a committee.

“The application is very similar to what they would fill out for a bank loan,” Deborah Reinbold, with Economic Development Washington County. “The one difference we will ask about is the jobs it will create.”