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City decides to extend emergency loan payback deadlines for Baraboo businesses, nonprofits
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City decides to extend emergency loan payback deadlines for Baraboo businesses, nonprofits

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Members of the Baraboo Common Council agreed unanimously Tuesday to extend the deadline for businesses and nonprofits who borrowed emergency funds last year to accommodate for lost revenue during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution was first considered by the Finance and Personnel Committee before being discussed immediately afterward by the full council. Council member Tom Kolb was absent.

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Committee members decided on the final terms of the measure, said City Clerk Brenda Zeman. The loans will extend a year, until July 15, 2022, continuing at an interest rate of 2% with a required monthly minimum payment with interest included.

City Administrator Casey Bradley

Bradley

City Administrator Casey Bradley said the interest will be applied equally to each monthly payment.

“We’ll project the interest out through that whole year so it will be equal payments,” Bradley said. “If they want to pay off early, then they won’t pay that whole amount of interest.”

Baraboo creates relief loan fund program to aid small businesses during COVID-19 closures

The Emergency Assistance Fund-Small Business Loan Program was established in April 2020. The Emergency Fund-Non Profit Organization Loan Program was later set up in May 2020. Both aimed to provide funding to groups affected by the March 2020 citywide emergency declaration due to COVID-19.

Program funding was established through the city’s tax increment finance district fund and an economic development fund, allowing for $250,000 to be designated as small business relief. For the profit-based businesses, requirements included having no more than 25 full-time employees.

Baraboo expands business loans to city nonprofits

There were tougher restrictions to ensure the funding goes to a nonprofit entity, which “cannot be a governmental unit, political campaign, political organization, political lobbying organization, a charitable trust, a church or place of worship, a school or labor union,” must be current with payments to the city, not be in or anticipating bankruptcy, be located within the city and “have a strong local presence.”

The loans were to be repaid by July 15. Those who paid them off before January did not have any interest. The 2% interest began Jan. 1. According to the resolution, a total of 22 loans were issued. There were 17 outstanding loans as of Tuesday.

City COVID-19 programs aid small businesses

Council members also:

  • Adopted an amendment to the city comprehensive plan Planned Land Use Map to change the 120 acres of land on the east side of the city commonly known as the “Jackson property” from a planned use mixture of business, mixed-use and agriculture to mixed residential and parks/open space use.
  • Approved the conveyance of ownership of 222 and 230 Fourth Avenue, 622 Birch Street and 227 Fifth Avenue to the Community Development Authority for the construction of an addition at Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library because the CDA must own the property as the agency in charge of the anticipated USDA loan funding to be used for the project.
  • Approved the Consent of Landlord to Assignment of Lease allowing the Villas at UW-Platteville Baraboo Sauk County to enter into a loan with Prevail Bank. Bradley said the only obligation of the city within the agreement is to notify the bank if the tenant defaults on payments.
  • Approved additional compensation for the city treasurer and Zeman, set to begin retroactively from when Finance Director Cynthia Haggard resigned May 21, for extra duties taken on at what Bradley said is roughly $3 to $4 an hour until a new director begins with the city
  • Approve the first reading of an ordinance that would amend municipal code language to make the membership of the city on the Boo-U campus commission in-line with the bylaws of the commission that were changed in 2014 by the Sauk County Board of Supervisors

GALLERY: Baraboo area views of the pandemic in 2020

Gov. Tony Evers ordered Wisconsinites to stay in their homes starting the week of March 25, 2020, to fend off the coronavirus outbreak that is ravaging populations worldwide. Businesses deemed non-essential closed and schools turned to virtual instruction. The following photo galleries reflect back on the changes that took place in Sauk County and the surrounding area last year.

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The community continues to work to get through the COVID-19 outbreak. 

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Devil's Lake State Park reopened Friday after being closed since April 10 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and crowding. The park, loca…

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Hikers, fishers and boaters took advantage Saturday of Devil's Lake State Park near Baraboo reopening after having been closed since April 10.

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Business districts in downtown Baraboo, Wisconsin Dells and Portage, as well as other area tourist destinations like Devil's Lake State Park, …

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Baraboo High School distributes graduation caps and gowns, along with Class of 2020 yard signs, Tuesday curbside at the school. The signs were…

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After the State Supreme Court's decision the Gov. Tony Evers' stay at home order was unenforceable, restaurants in Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells…

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Many downtown Baraboo businesses were open Thursday under guidelines recommended by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, such as we…

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Students and schools in Baraboo, like elsewhere, have had to adjust to closures meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 with measures including r…

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The Baraboo and Portage public libraries have had to adjust operations during the coronavirus pandemic over the last few months, first closing…

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Gabriel McReynolds demonstrates May 20 how to use the app he developed to help his family's business, New Life Lavender Farm in Baraboo, manag…

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The Baraboo School District and its community partners, including the Greater Sauk Community Foundation, surprised Shelley Mordini on Thursday…

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Circus World Museum in Baraboo opened July 1 for guided walking tours of historic Ringlingville and the Deppe Wagon Pavilion after being close…

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Vehicles and spectators filled the streets and properties surrounding the Sauk County Fairgrounds for the Fourth of July fireworks show Saturd…

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The Baraboo School Board reconsidered the district's plan to reopen schools during a meeting Aug. 10 at Baraboo High School. Community members…

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Children and families arrived at staggered times Tuesday morning for the first day of school at Gordon L. Willson Elementary School in Baraboo…

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The Wisconsin National Guard conducted free, drive-thru COVID-19 testing Monday on the Sauk County Fairgrounds.

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Rain hampered the beginning of the Wisconsin National Guard’s free COVID-19 testing event Monday at the Sauk County Fairgrounds in Baraboo. Or…

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A socially distanced, outdoor groundbreaking with school staff, students and donors Thursday afternoon marked the start of construction for a …

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Free weekly COVID-19 testing for students, staff and the surrounding community was underway for the second week in a row Wednesday at UW-Platt…

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Scenes from coronavirus testing events since September in Sauk and Columbia counties.

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Despite chilly weather and the continuing pandemic, local residents found ways to safely celebrate Christmas Eve. In Baraboo, St. Paul's Luthe…

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.

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