“The revolving loan fund has been dwindling,” he added. “In all fairness, it re-circulated for 30 years.”
As for the city’s CDBG funding allocated for economic development projects, on any given year there can be money left over.
In 2008, the city had $326,350 in CDBG money for economic development projects.
Funding was used for pedestrian sidewalk improvements downtown on Hazel Street and also a Systrand Presta project received $75,000 for equipment. Other businesses benefiting from CDGB economic development funding since 2009 include: Illini Castings, Ecofit Inc., Towne Machine, T.h. Snyder for its relocation and HRW.
For HRW, 1850 E. Voorhees St., it received $175,000 in CDBG funding to assist with the initial purchase of product inventory.
The business’ product is a high-quality milk replacement ingredient known as Cheese Meal used in feed for baby pigs. The $1.3 million investment was expected to employ up to 25 full-time employees within the first year of operation.
For the current 2012-2013 program year, the city started off with $280,000 in economic development CDBG funds.
Dreher said because the money was not moving a lot this year, $150,000 was transferred for demolitions of dilapidated buildings.
In exchange for the CDBG funding, agreements differ, but in general the business must build the facility/store and offer jobs. According to a formula of $15,000 in funding per job, for the $195,000 for Ruler Foods, the business should employ 13 people.
Dreher said some businesses can reach the jobs number in a few months, but for others it could take a year or two.