REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF KAUKAUNA
A meeting of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Kaukauna was called to order at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 9, 2020, by Chairman Feldt. This meeting was held remotely via teleconference.
Members Present: Feldt, Kohne, Landreman, Smith, VanderWyst, Verhagen, Windorff.
Also Present: Planning Director Jakel, Principal Planner Brunette, Mayor Penterman, Assistant Fire Chief Foss, Applicants Jeff Everetts and Laura Gonnering.
- Minutes. A motion to approve the minutes of the January 29, 2020, meeting was made by Kohne, seconded by VanderWyst. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Loan Request – BLG Company, LLC (Gonnering). Brunette explained that the loan proceeds would go towards building renovation including roofing, façade and concrete improvements and handicap accessibility. There is currently a residential unit on the second floor and vacant commercial space on the first. Mr. VanderWyst asked about current rents. Mr. Everetts explained that the residential unit is $350 per month and the commercial space is $630 per month. Ms. Smith asked about the applicant’s construction experience. Mr. Everetts explained that he has approximately 30 years of experience in building contracting. Mr. Jakel asked about work already completed – specifically plumbing in the residential unit. Mr. Jakel added that the required permits were not issued for the work. Mr. Everetts explained that he did not realize the work being done would require a permit. Mr. Jakel asked about the different styles of materials on the façade. Mr. Everetts explained that the current façade was updated in 2009 and the proposed project would include stone veneer and siding. Mr. Jakel explained the RACK would need to consider action on the façade improvements as well as the loan request.
- Executive Session – BLG Company, LLC (Gonnering). A motion to adjourn to Executive Session at 9:13 a.m. pursuant to Wisconsin State Statutes 19.85(1)(e) to discuss the loan request was made by Kohne, seconded by VanderWyst. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Open Session – BLG Company, LLC (Gonnering). A motion to return to Open Session at 9:30 a.m. was made by Verhagen, seconded by Kohne. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried. A motion to approve the loan request in the amount of $8,300 for five years at 2% contingent on the following: personal guarantees by Jeff Everetts and Laura Gonnering, and securing permits for the residential plumbing work already completed and complying with all permit and inspection requirements on the project going forward was made by Landreman, seconded by Smith. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried. A motion to approve the façade improvement plan as presented was made by Kohne, seconded by Landreman. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
- Discussion on COVID-19 Business Survey. Brunette explained that the survey was a last minute idea by City staff and the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce with a relatively short response window. Forty responses were received from a variety of businesses expressing an anticipated need for assistance within the next 30 days. Ms. Brunette explained that there was two main takeaways from the survey – most businesses are anticipating a down month – whether they are open, closed or a hybrid scenario. The other was concern regarding expenditures including rent, payroll, and inventory. Ms. Brunette asked if RACK had an appetite to change or amend our policies in addition to the payment deferral option we are already offering. Ms. Windorff asked about her participation in the discussion as both a RACK member and a small business owner and explained that there are some government programs available to small businesses and LLC’s, however, the issue is with the gap in dispersal. Chairman Feldt suggested consulting with City Attorney Davidson regarding a possible conflict of interest for Ms. Windorff and suggested that she abstain from the discussion and potential votes in the meantime. Mr. Jakel explained that Outagamie County is considering implementing similar programs as RACK to offset costs for businesses current on their property taxes and utilities. This program would be different from the federal options and geared towards employment and payroll. Ms. Smith explained that it could be difficult to weed through all the information out there and suggested staff act as a one-stop-shop to assist businesses in getting to the funds that are already available. Mr. Jakel explained that the Heart of the Valley and Fox Cities Chambers of Commerce are excellent resources. Chairman Feldt explained that there would likely be more opportunity to help amid fall-out after the pandemic and suggested that RACK be flexible while still protecting the interest of the program. Ms. Brunette suggested that business owners are encouraged to submit applications that will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis versus making blanket changes to our program. Ms. Windorff asked if we would be promoting our services or letting business owners come to us. Ms. Brunette explained that there is a fine balance between being available and over-promising and suggested that we remain flexible, and provide information on state and federal programs already out there. Mr. Jakel explained that we are in a good position now but would reach out if we saw a business struggling.
- Other Business. Assistant Fire Chief Foss asked about the work on the former Quencher’s building and the opening of a restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. Jakel explained that those are building inspection issues and would be addressed outside of RACK.
There being no further business to be brought before the Authority, a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:00 a.m. was made by Kohne, seconded by VanderWyst. Upon roll call, all members voted aye. Motion carried.
Community Development Coordinator