County approves two loans from revolving loan fund

Cook County Commissioners heard recommendations on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 from the county revolving loan fund committee on two projects. Auditor Braidy Powers introduced the revolving loan fund (RLF) projects, which were approved by the RLF committee on May 21, for the Cook County Visitors Bureau and Harbor House Grille.

Harbor House continues improvements

The Harbor House Grille project is well under way and it is the continuation of renovation already completed by owners Ed and Cindy Straub since purchasing the former Chez Jude restaurant in November 2012. The Straubs requested a RFL loan of $28,390 to be used toward installing energy efficient windows, siding, heating improvements and to add a handicap accessible entrance and addition for improved bathrooms.

Auditor Powers said another piece of property is being offered as collateral. The total project cost is estimated to be $85,000. The county board passed a unanimous motion to support the loan.

Visitors Bureau moving ahead with moving plans

The Cook County Visitors Bureau (CCVB) requested a loan of $50,000 to improve a building the organization is purchasing, the former Gunflint Realty building (next to Grand Marais Dairy Queen). The CCVB plans to invest $235,000 in the project to purchase the building and to make improvements that will allow the CCVB to combine its administrative offices and the Grand Marais Information Center to one building.

Commissioner Heidi Doo-Kirk noted that the payment CCVB would be making for the new facility would be less than what it is currently covering in rent of two separate buildings.

Commissioners agreed to award a $50,000 loan to the CCVB, with the county as the second on the mortgage.