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Documents Indicate City Likely Can't Give Out Revolving Fund Loans

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Documents obtained by WXPR show possible problems if Rhinelander tries to administer loan money to local businesses from the city. 

The Common Council this week authorized the forming of a task force to look at the Downtown Works Revolving Loan Fund and providing $188,000 in the fund to help local businesses. The council paused on going ahead with it until a task force of city employees and Downtown Rhinelander, Inc.  representatives could find bylaws and other documents associated with the fund.

The fund began with a partnership between the city, DRI, and the now out- of -business Cleary Foundation. It provided low-cost loans for downtown businesses. Each partner put $30,000 annually into the fund. But it appears the administering of the fund was set up so the Downtown Works , and not the city, would be the group designating the funds.

City Attorney Steve Sorenson cautioned the council this week that the city is not a 501(c)3 non-profit and there could be a problem delegating the money in this manner.

The 2008 agreement also indicated the city can put representatives on the body overseeing the fund, but is not in charge of it, only a representative of the group overseeing it. The task force is working to iron out issues and make a recommendation to the mayor and common council.

2008 documents below:


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