Written by Don Ratzlaff Tuesday, 25 September 2012 13:50
Six Hillsboro businesses have received low-interest loans over the past three years as a result of the city’s partnership with NetWork Kansas’s E-Community program.
Clint Seibel, economic development director, reported on the city’s involvement in the program as part of the city council’s Sept. 18 agenda.
Seibel said the loan program, intended to encourage business start-ups and expansions, provides additional funding beyond loans arranged with primary lenders.
Each applicant is required to fill out a business plan, and provide employment projections, resumes and references, cash-flow projections, financial reports and a list of assets and liabilities.
The six businesses to receive loans were Jostrux Upholstery and Graphics, Lalouette Law Office, Shred KS, Olde Towne Restaurant, Kessler’s Kreations and Tangles Hair Salon.
Seibel said some of the loans have been repaid already. He also said the loans are no guarantee of success and longevity. One of the six business has since closed and another one was bought out.
Seibel said loans to three more businesses are in the works.
NetWork Kansas was established in 2007 by the state legislature with the intent of connecting resources with local entrepreneurs, Seibel said.
Hillsboro was named an E-Community in 2009 through the effort of the Hillsboro Development Corp. and Hillsboro Ventures Inc., which serve now as the local leadership team and financial review board.
Currently, 30 communities in Kansas have been accepted into the program.
Because of its involvement, Hillsboro has received more than $50,000 in grant funds for programming expenses.
He said the community as a whole benefits from the program because of new business ventures, business expansion, added employment and increased property and sales tax.
In other business, the council:
• accepted the first formal operations agreement made with the Hillsboro Municipal Golf Association regarding the public golf course. In recent years, city auditors have recommended that the informal understandings between the two entities be put into writing to protect the city’s interests.
Mike Padgett, president of the HMGA, said the new agreement has been endorsed by the board.
• heard Mayor Delores Dalke say that because the council has not approved the 2012 manual of standard building codes, property owners may face higher fire-insurance rates.
City Administrator Larry Paine said the city still uses the 2006 manual primarily because code changes in updated manuals often have urban areas in mind and are not always reasonable for rural communities.
He cited one example the requirement of residential fire sprinklers as an added expense that could “dry up the building process” in a small town.
Paine said a city can approve exceptions to some codes to better fit its local reality.
Dalke suggested that Paine locate a smaller city that has identified needed exceptions to the 2012 codes, and then adopt that document here.
• approved a change order from LaFarge North America Inc. that would result in a reduction of the contract price for the recent First Street project by $3,351. The new contract price is $460,036.
• authorized a final payment of $105,082 to LaFarge for the completion of the First Street project.
• approved a change order with Vogts-Parga Construction that resulted in a reduction in the contract price of the Adams Street and A Stree projects by $840.
• approved a final payment of $48,646 to Vogts-Parga Construction for the completion of the two street projects this summer. The final contract price is $887,013.
• heard a request from Council Bob Watson the council develop its position regarding the proposal of several township boards several months ago to form a new fire district in partnership with the city.
• met in executive session to review Paine’s performance evaluation.