RANTOUL — One applicant for a village microloan was approved, and a second one denied by the village microloan committee.

Approved was Civil Banshee LLC, headed by David Silver, for $40,000, while a $60,000 request by Jose Garcia was denied.

Civil Banshee is the new owner of the property at 109 E. Sangamon Ave. The loan would be used to remodel the interior and exterior of the structure, which is located immediately east of ET’s restaurant. Downstairs would be remodeled for retail space, while the upstairs will hold an apartment.

Village Administrator Scott Eisenhauer said there have been discussions with ET’s ownership to determine whether the restaurant would be interested in expansion. He did not know if it was.

Eisenhauer said Silver has a tenant for the  apartment but not for the retail space.

He said the building was formerly owned by Curtis McGhee, who lost the building due to failure to make mortgage payments.

The building was damaged when brick fell from a building housing Kiefer Photography.

“The intention is to secure the exterior from falling debris, thereby allowing the sidewalk and surrounding areas to be opened,” Eisenhauer said.

He said Civil Banshee also owns the ET’s property,  “which is well-maintained and good for the market place.”

As collateral, the company is listing the building and a 2012 Mitsubishi owned by Silver.

The $40,000 loan will be for five years at 2 percent interest.

The measure was approved 4-0 with Koleen Roseman, Jim Smith, Herman Fogal and Brian Schurter voting in favor. Denny Long abstained. Final approval of the application will be required by the village board.

The business plan outlines purchase of the property from Bank of Rantoul for $20,000 using TIF2 funds. A 50/50 village facade grant will be sought  

Eisenhauer said Silver expects the work will take seven months to complete. The business supports one full-time position.

Silver, a resident of Downs, is a former village of Rantoul planning and zoning administrator.

Loan application denied

The committee voted 5-0 not to recommend approval of a $60,000 seven-year loan at 7 percent for Garcia.

His collateral would have been the building he owns at 128 N. Garrard St., which he bought for $115,000.

Garcia said he wanted the loan to make that property into a restaurant/grocery store, which would create four jobs.

Garcia said the money would be used to buy coolers, tables, refrigerators and other appliances. The loan money would cover 67 percent of the start-up costs.

Eisenhauer said in the business plan, Garcia projected a first-year profit of $186,000, a second-year profit of $204,000 and a third-year profit of $254,000.

Eisenhauer said in reviewing the history of payment on utility bills of several properties Garcia owns, “he is usually one month behind.”

“He doesn’t usually reach two months because our utilities department calls him and begs him to come in and pay before they get to what they call a shut-off mark,” Eisenhauer said.

Garcia’s property is on a three-phase electrical system, and because other buildings are on the same system, they would also lose power if Garcia’s electricity is shut off.

The committee voted not to recommend approval of the loan request based on what it feels are unrealistic profit-and-loss margins and his history of making late payments on utility bills.

Change in church loan

The committee also learned the federal government had denied the village’s granting of a $250,000 EDA loan to Rantoul United Pentecostal Church because EDA loans are to go only to for-profit entities.

Eisenhauer asked the board instead to recommend granting a microloan to the church, which it did. The loan would still be paid at 4 percent over 10 years, pending village board approval.

The church is buying the former Camp Rantoul/Midwest Prep Academy locker room building at 1221 Enterprise Drive to be converted into its new church building.

The church has been renting a building at 410 Cuppernell Ave. on the former Chanute Air Force Base from the village. Church officials were notified by the village that they should start looking for a new home because of a pending possible economic development project.

Completion timeline discussed

Eisenhauer said he believes the village should set deadlines by which projects should be completed after approval of loans.

He cited as one example Julie Kiefer, who secured a $30,000 loan to repair damage to her photography business building that was caused by falling bricks.

She said her goal is to expand her business.

The loan will be paid back over five years at 2 percent interest.

“After that was approved, we were hopeful that a contractor had been secured,” Eisenhauer said. “That did not happen. They went through a series of discussions until they finally were motivated to complete the agreement with one contractor when they received a notice to appear in court.”

Committee discusses overdue loans

Village Comptroller Pat Chamberlin went through overdue loans.

Victor Torres is in arrears for $5,607 on one loan, with his last payment coming last December, and on another for $113,833, with the last payment coming in January.

Chamberlin said she sent a second letter to Torres. If a response is not received, the matter will be turned over to the village attorney.

Other loans that will be given to the village attorney if there is no response are:

— Midwest Prep Academy, which owes $15,349, and whose last payment was in April.

— Quenton Hillsman, $13,000, October 2016. He operated a barbecue truck but went out of business.

— Debra Austin, $13,391, December 2016. She bought equipment but never opened a business.

A hearing is set Nov. 13 for CCK Hospitality, which owes $45,137, whose last payment was June 2018.

A Dec. 13 hearing is set for EDDS Inc., which owes $6,121 and whose last payment was in 2012.

Perry Johnson, who owes $8,713 and whose last payment was December 2017, said he will begin making payments. Johnson had planned to open a fresh seafood store.

The village is out $41,058 on a loan to Denver Miller Sr., who filed for bankruptcy. Miller owed the money on property on South Tanner Street that was later sold to Bill Schluter, who sold it to Dale Eaker for the relocated Goodyear Tire Center.

John Brotherton paid off the final $203 on a loan to Lindsey Lane Bridal. The payment was not overdue.

dhinton@rantoulpress.com