Hometown Trolley completes refinance deal with City, Economic Development
New financing arrangement creates a win for all
The City of Crandon restructured Hometown Trolley’s debt structure with an agreement that provides more working capital, better plant efficiency, reduced debt overhead, and capacity for additional production.
Mayor Rob Jaeger explained “Kristina Pence-Dunow and Hometown Trolley have provided important employment in our industrial park for nearly two decades; this plan provides greater benefit to the Crandon taxpayer by developing an incentive for Trolley to pay the loan back earlier.”
The initial program was funded by the City of Crandon but had potential for significantly higher costs to the business in the long run, and there was no incentive for prepayment of the loan. Forest County Economic Development Partnership (FCEDP), tapping into a similar program operating under Oneida County’s EDO, worked with the City of Crandon and Infinity to improve the financial arrangement for the long term.
“My friend Roger Luce (ED from Oneida County’s EDO) was very helpful and I want to thank him for providing the roadmap for a win/win/win with this program, stated FCEDP executive director Jim Schuessler. “This package provides Hometown Trolley with a much greater runway in a working capital intensive business,” added FCEDP President RT Krueger. Under the plan, a second public/private partnership, Northwoods Economic Development Corporation, Inc. has been formed to specifically handle these type financing arrangements. “My thanks to Paul Payant and Wayne Link for lending their very capable technical legal and financial assistance in getting this new economic development program in place.” added Schuessler.
The benefits include increased incentive for early repayment of the loan, increased capacity for Hometown Trolley to expand capacity to meet customer demand, improved long term security, and new marketing capacity for FCEDP to attract and retain employers in Crandon. The majority of the proceeds from the loan, which came from Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, will be reinvested into public school libraries including those in Crandon, Laona, Goodman/Armstrong, and Wabeno.
This new structure provides a model for future business retention, expansion and recruitment that can be used for future projects. “This plan is replicable, and is not available to businesses in many of our bordering municipalities and counties and I’m very proud of Crandon’s City Council for taking this important step,” noted FCEDP’s Jim Schuessler. “When the business plan works, we have something here that offers the potential for additional job creation in Crandon and elsewhere within our county. The mayor, city council and city clerk each did a great job in helping get this opportunity over the goal line.”
“We are well on our way with our business plan and this new package provides us with efficiencies and equipment that will make us even more productive,” noted Trolley President/CEO Kristina Pence-Dunow. “We have a tremendous team here and this is another benchmark on our way toward additional growth. We should also see additional news to come with our foray into additional green energy platforms.”