RiverHeath’s $1.6 infrastructure loan scrutinized

To jumpstart a riverfront development, several Appleton aldermen proposed a $1.6 million low-interest loan that would build a public road and trail near Telulah Park.

A fiery debate broke out Monday at a committee meeting over the concept of the loan and the perceptions that the city is becoming a bank.RiverHeath logo

Some questioned why the city should feel comfortable with a loan if banks have already turned down opportunities.

“It’s not that the banks won’t loan, it’s that they won’t loan for this segment of the project, which is a public road and a publicly accessed trail,” said Karen Harkness, the city’s director of community development.

Aldermen also argued about what they were actually approving, a concept, instead of the loan itself. The details of the loan will need to return to the finance committee and full council later this summer.

The Community and Economic Development Committee re-affirmed a previous vote 5-0 Monday to move forward with the $1.6 million loan.

— Nick Penzenstadler: 920-996-7226, or npenzenstadler@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @npenzenstadler

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