Cascade ready to aid cheese factory expansion

by Abby Lynn Harvey of The Review staff

CASCADE – At their Tuesday evening meeting the Village Board heard a request from Babler, Inc., owner of Cascade Cheese Company, for up too $5 million in Industrial Revenue Bonds.

“A bond, at its very center, is a bank loan that’s dressed up with procedural process under federal and state law that allow the interest that’s paid on the bond to be tax exempt in the hands of the bond holder,” explained Lynda Templen, partner at the law firm of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek in Milwaukee.

In short, the company will pay a lower interest rate on the bond if the village agrees to act as a conduit for the issuance of the bonds. The holder of the bond will be able to exclude the interest on the bonds from gross income tax.

The terms of the issuance of the municipal bonds state that the village will not be liable for payment of the bonds, will not have ongoing responsibilities of monitoring or reporting the bonds, and the bonds will not count against the village’s borrowing capacity. The village will not levy a tax for payment of the bonds.

“When we close on the bonds you would sign away all your rights, responsibility, liability,” Templen said, “You have no obligation on the bonds. You are a pure conduit that’s a mechanism under tax law.”

Templen went on to assure the board that should Babler, Inc. default on the bonds, the village will in no way be responsible to pay back that money,

The bonds are to be used to fund an expansion to the Cascade Cheese Company. It is estimated that the project will add up to nine jobs to the community.

The board voted unanimously to pass a non-binding initial resolution expressing their intent to offer the bonds in the future if the company should need them.

Moving forward, a public notice will be posted and electors will be given 30 days to petition for a referendum should they disagree with the the issuance of the bonds.

“My personal opinion is that any way that we can help the cheese factory to encourage his growth, I’m all for it,” said Village President David Jaeckels.

Josh Harrison, representing the Cascade Boy Scouts, came before the board to ask if they would be willing to purchase wreaths for the village from the Boy Scouts. As the village had received a similar request from Arbuckle Floral they chose to purchase two wreaths from the Boy Scouts and one from Arbuckle floral in an effort to be fair.

The boy scout wreath sale helps offset the cost of several boy scout activities. Harrison can be contacted at 528-1633 and Arbuckle Floral can be contacted at 528-8798.

The purchase of a new wood chipper was approved after discussion concerning what to do with the old chipper. Options included trading it in or trying to sell it on in hopes of getting a higher price than the trade-in value.

It was decided that the best course of action would be to try to sell it on-line with a reserve of the trade-in value. If that value were not met during the two-week auction time the site offers, the old chipper would then be traded in toward the purchase of the new one.

Prior to the meeting, after public hearing, the board passed the 2014 budget unanimously and with no opposition from board members or any citizens present.

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