The Rhinelander Common Council has approved investigating whether the city should provide loans to businesses hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.
Alderperson Steve Sauer offered a resolution using $188,000 from the Downtown Works Revolving Loan Fund to be loaned to businesses. The measure asked for the creation of a task force to facilitate the grants. But the matter raised several red flags from City Attorney Steve Sorenson who said the ambiguity of the process, including not having a clear set of rules and bylaws for the process, is a problem. ..
"..I think if you recreate Downtown Works Revolving Loan Fund and you call a meeting of all the interested people, you vote in a Board of Directors, you write a set of bylaws you make available to the City of Rhinelander $118,000 through a loan program, you've really accomplished what needs to be done..."
Alderperson David Holt offered an amendment to keep the process moving ahead...
"...approving the individuals listed to investigate those bylaws. To work with the city attorney if those bylaws cannot be found, to reconstruct the Downtown Revolving Loan Fund..."
Members of city government and Downtown Rhinelander, Inc. would be on the task force.
With Holt's amendment , the council approved the measure pending further investigation into an entity to distribute the money, and the entity's board and bylaws.