Corp. re-elects members, issues 2017 report
By David Yarger
The Wheatfield Local Development Corporation met for their annual meeting Tuesday night. At the meeting, the corporation re-elected members and looked back at progress made in 2017.
The WLDC is a group that's committed to fostering new business, as well as retaining and expanding existing local businesses to build economic capacity specific to the Town of Wheatfield.
In the election, Chairman Bill Wagner retained his position by a 4-1 vote (Wagner abstained from the vote).
Wagner said, "I will continue to act as the chairperson and I appreciate that. We have some important things that I think are coming up in the near future, so it'll be good to maintain consistency."
Former Wheatfield Supervisor Bob Cliffe decided to stay with the WLDC for a three-year term, and also as secretary - both by 4-1 votes (Cliffe abstained).
Vic Montalbo retained his position as treasurer by a 4-1 vote (Montablo abstained).
No member decided to run for vice chairman, but Wagner said the group has operated fine without one for a few years.
The WLDC also handed out the 2017 report, which included operations from the past year, as well as a 2018 outlook.
The two major projects in the 2017 operations resulted in the Jacobs Ladder Project, as well as the proposed Big Thunder Brewing at the Summit Park Mall.
In the 2017 outlook, it said, "The board spent a majority of our time working with the ownership group of the Summit Mall as they prepare their new venture - Big Thunder Brewing. After a number of meetings, the board was able to see the initial architecture plans which are very exciting and game changing for this property. As we progress towards our agreement with them, it was decided the board needed a more solid timeline and established a Negotiating Committee specific to this project. This was necessary for us to determine how the grant payouts and subsequent repayments should be designed. We anticipate having this finalized in the first quarter of 2018 with a grant/loan closing to follow shortly after. Based on the timeline provided, the Big Thunder project should be complete by early fourth quarter of 2018.
"We are happy to report that the $1,500 start-up loan from the Town of Wheatfield was paid back in September 2017. This was a due to the prompt pay back of loan proceeds from Jacobs Ladder. The payments of $494.69 per month come in timely and we have had no issues. We expect to have an OCR audit of the project and a close out likely in 2018. Loan repayments will continue until 2022 as per our agreement with Jacobs, unless they decide to repay early, which is their right to do so."
As for the Big Thunder Brewing project, the WLDC in their 2018 outlook said, "The Big Thunder Brewing project will continue forward. We anticipate a closing at some point in 2018, with project completion being in 2019. Due to potential construction or other issues, it's hard to forecast the exact numbers at this time. Should the project finish on time, the WLDC will receive some loan repayments late in 2019 and then moving on forward for five years."
For more information on the WLDC, visit its website at wheatfieldbusiness.com.