Twin Lakes Board favors loaning money for motel sprinkler system

A view of the motel on the Donovan's Reef property as of Friday.

Twin Lakes Village Board members expressed support Monday night for lending a local business as much as $25,000 for a fire suppression system in a building currently being rebuilt.

Len Sattler, one of the owners of Donovan’s Reef, made the appeal for the assistance at a Committee of the Whole meeting.

The motel on the Donovan’s property had a fire in February. One person died in the fire and ultimately it was decided to demolish the building and rebuild.

Sattler said he has already tapped out his insurance money for the rebuild, but was not aware of a relatively new requirement calling for a fire suppression sprinkler system in the building. That state requirement became law in January. He added that he had included other extra fire suppression measures, such as fire walls between each unit instead of every other unit.

Since he did not anticipate having to install the system, Sattler he was seeking any available assistance from the village.

David Cox, village administrator said the most likely forms of assistance would be to use TIF funds to pay down interest for the Donovan’s owners or borrowing funds and then lending that money to Donovan’s.

Trustees seemed to favor borrowing from the State Trust Fund, and then in turn lending that money to Donovan’s. Current interest for loans from that fund for up to 10 years is 3.75 percent, Cox said.

There initially was some skepticism about the proposal on some trustees’ part.

But Cox explained such borrowing and lending is not unusual for municipalities to spur economic development.

The village would be liable for any money borrowed from the trust fund, but if the Donovan’s owners ceased to make payments to the village, the village could assess the property’s tax bill. If a loan were agreed to, the village would have a developer’s and loan agreement spelling out the program, Cox said.

Completing the agreement would take formal action by the Village Board.


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