Park Rapids EDA grants revolving loan to wine bar
Mayor Ryan Leckner and members of Park Rapids City Council met for the first time since July 28, 2020 as the ACN Board of Directors.
City administrator Angel Weasner and Mary Thompson, executive director of the Heartland Lakes Development Commission, presented information on owner Karen Acker’s loans application with Wine Not? LLC.
Thompson said Acker wanted to open a wine bar and retail outlet to sell wine making kits and supplies. She also hopes to offer wine making classes and provide space for other types of classes. Some dishes that accompany wine, such as meat and cheese, would also be available.
Thompson said Acker had obtained funding approval from Citizens National Bank to purchase the Moose Creek building at 110 4th St. W. Acker also owns Itasca Tours.
According to the draft meeting minutes, EDA board members agreed that the business idea is a valid risk and meets the purpose of the revolving loan fund ( RLF), which is to bring new businesses to the city center.
Responding to questions from board members, Thompson said Acker would also be able to sell beer under its release license. Asked about the difference between Acker’s liquor license and craft brewery licenses, Thompson said Acker would not sell the wine it makes.
In addition to wine-making classes, Thompson said Acker may offer classes on “creative creations,” such as scrapbooking. She added that it would be a year round business.
Board member Tom Conway moved to approve the loan application at 4.25% interest, and the motion was carried unanimously.
According to Weasner, the final interest rate will not be known until the debt agreement is signed.
As part of a more in-depth discussion, Thompson asked for clarification on the city’s RFL policies, such as whether or not to extend RFL loan eligibility outside city limits, their applicability to agencies without profit and government entities, specifically encouraging their use to improve energy efficiency or accessibility of buildings. people with disabilities, issues of annexing property to the city, processing loan modification requests, maintaining separate RFL accounts for the city and HLDC, requiring a quarterly report to council administration of the revolving loan fund and streamlining loan application forms.
It was agreed that Thompson would present the updated policies to City Council for approval.