homepage logo

W’bago EDA grants loan to business

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jun 6, 2021

Angie Steir holds up one of the new W’bago T-shirts

The Winnebago Economic Development Authority (EDA) approved a business loan for Winnebago Metal when they met for their regular meeting on June 2.

Kenneth Nelson is the owner of Winnebago Metal, which is located at 212 Sixth Avenue SE, and was at the meeting to answer any questions from the EDA board.

“I do welding fabrication, metal sales and manufacture hitch parts,” Nelson explained. “I have been operating the shop since May of 2020.”

Nelson explained a good portion of his business involves doing work for Everidge.

“I recently purchased a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machine, which is a computer-driven machine tool used to cut pieces of metal,” Nelson explained.

“There is a need for this type of business in town,” board member Scott Lehman said.

Board member Doug Hill made the motion to approve the $22,000 loan which was approved unanimously.

EDA specialist Angie Stier informed the board the sale of Miner’s Auto became official on June 1.

“The new business is called John’s Auto Service and is owned by Johnathon Hynes,” Stier said. “He has applied for a Commercial Exterior Building Grant to help pay for a new sign at the business. The total cost of the sign, which he is purchasing from Stauffer Graphics and Sign, is $758. The grant would be for 50 percent of the cost, or $379.”

The grant request was approved.

Discussion was also held on having ribbon cutting ceremonies for businesses who opened last year during the pandemic but because of COVID-19 restrictions were unable to have any kind of event to mark the occasion. The board directed Stier to contact each business and determine what they would like to do.

The question of where to paint the new mural which is being funded in part by a Paint the Town Mural Grant came up and a vote was approved to paint it on the Winnebago Community Pool building.

During her report, Stier reminded members the job fair is coming up on June 12 and will be held at the City Municipal Center.

“We did not have any responses on the SuperValu RFP (Request for Proposal) before the June 1 deadline,” Stier said. “However, we do have a local party who is interested in the site. I will keep you informed on the situation.”

Stier also had news about the UHD (United Hospital District) clinic in Winnebago.

“There is no definite opening date,” Stier commented. “They are currently working on staffing the clinic.”

City administrator Jacob Skluzacek said there are 40- plus volunteers ready to go to work on Saturday, June 5, for the inaugural Love Winnebago volunteer day. He also showed off the T-shirt being given to participating volunteers that day.

Finally, the board voted to accept the resignation of EDA member Lehmann.

“I am sad to see you leave the board,” Hill said. “You always brought good insight to our discussions and your experience as a self-employed business owner allowed you to give us a unique perspective.”