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Working together

Development leaders, village look to grow business in Rib Lake
Working together
Travis Grubbs
Working together
Travis Grubbs

Travis Grubbs of the Rib Lake Community Development Foundation met with the village board to hold an open discussion with board members at the Rib Lake Village Board meeting held on November 8. Grubbs wanted to have a discussion with the board on how the Development Foundation can work with the board on helping existing business in the Rib Lake area as well as bringing new business to the Rib Lake community.

Grubbs first explained to the board how they can help businesses, as well as how they have helped businesses this year. Grubbs mentioned that the foundation can provide low interest loans for businesses in Rib Lake. They can also provide donations for new and existing business. Grubbs mentioned that so far in 2023 the foundation has donated $19,000 to Rib Lake businesses.

See RIB LAKE on page 4 After explaining how the foundation worked, Grubbs shifted the conversation to TID and TIF districts. Grubbs asked if the board had knowledge of TID districts. President Schreiner stated that the village had a TID district in the past and said that, “It worked really good in the past.”

Grubbs also shared with the board that the foundation recently joined the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. The WEDC is committed to creating and painting a business climate that allows businesses to maximize their potential. They are committed to developing a talented workforce to help Wisconsin realize its full economic potential.

As a member of WEDC, the Rib Lake Community Development Foundation has knowledge of and access to many different grants and programs to help businesses. Grubbs wanted to highlight two grants to the board. The first being the Cooperative Development Grant. Information on this grant was just released the day of the meeting, so Grubbs did not have many details. He did explain that the goal of the grant is to help individuals and businesses start, expand or improve rural cooperatives and other mutually owned businesses.

The second grant Grubbs wanted to highlight was the Community Development Investment Grant. This grant helps businesses that will bring other businesses to the area, the key term being that the business has to provide a, “catalitic for change.” This grant is a match up to $250,000.

Schreiner asked Grubbs what the odds were that if someone were to apply for this grant in Rib Lake that they would get it. Grubbs responded, “If it were a grocery store, childcare or something else that would be a catalytic for change, the odds are very good.”

Public Budget Hearing

At 7:00 PM the board held their Public Hearing regarding the 2024 proposed General Budget Fund. There were no questions or comments from the public. Schreiner did comment that, “The little bit of boost we got from the state helped out quite a bit.” The total amount needed from the 2023 tax levy is $204,528 in the budget. Trustee Jack Buksa made a motion to approve the budget and that was seconded by Trustee Rocky Jones.

Health Insurance

The board did approve the renewal of their health insurance for the 2024 plan year. The village will get their insurance from Security Health Plan. The plan will have a $3,500 deductible.

Pay Increase

The board also approved pay increases for some of their employees. Election workers for the village will see a 50 cent per hour raise. The deputy clerk, groundskeeper and janitor will see a $2.00 per hour increase. The Village Clerk will receive a pay increase of $3.32 per hour. The board also set the Sewer/Water operator at a salary of $21,632 for 832 hours of work annually.

In Other Board Business

Trustee Cliff Mann gave an update on the Park, Lake and Recreation Department. He stated, “Everything (at the park) is basically closed down.” He continued, “Our revenue is up $16,000 over last year, we had a very good year.”