MCIDC Okays Loan For Schussler's Purchasers
Wheels are in motion for the former Schussler's Supper Club and banquet hall to reopen in the not too distant future with a new name and new owners. The long-time gathering spot located on County B near the western Peshtigo city limits will now be known as Embers 1871, in commemoration of the Peshtigo Fire. It is being purchased by Sherry Veriha and business partner, Kari Bunting, both of Marinette, on behalf of Embers 1871, LLC.
Veriha, who brings more than 20 years of professional cooking experience to the venture, is to be general manager and head chef. She has been head chef at the Elks Club for the past five years, and also owns and operates Sherry's Catering. She will continue to operate the catering service out of new quarters in Embers 1871.
Bunting owns and operates Component Solutions in Menominee, a business that sells hardwood lumber and hardwood lumber components, and said she will be more of a silent partner in the Embers 1871 venture.
At its meeting on Tuesday, June 20 Peshtigo Town Board approved transfer of the former Schussler's beer and liquor licenses to Embers 1871, LLC with Veriha as agent, and approved her operator's license.
On Tuesday, June 27, Marinette County Industrial Development Corporation (MCIDC) Board of Directors approved a $100,000 loan for the venture from the county's Community Development Block Grant revolving loan fund at 4 percent interest for five years with amortization over 20 years.
The approval came after about 45 minutes of board discussion in a closed-door executive session, and included provisions for second position mortgages on the business site, equipment and fixtures and two other properties owned by the principals, as well as collateral assignment of life insurance proceeds.
Present for the meeting and voting in favor were Mark Anderson, Pat Kass, Diane Becker, Steve Bradford, Shirley Kaufman, John LeFebvre, Gale Mattison, and Greg Goetzman, chair. There were no dissenting votes. Daryl Joy, Vilas Schroeder and Shelly Ghere were absent.
After the loan was approved board members congratulated the new business owners. Ann Hartnell, executive director of Marinette County Association for Business and Industry and fund administrator for MCIDC, said she will meet with them in a few days to fill in the details. She said she also is working on an interest rate reduction program that may get the partners an even lower interest rate.
In other business at the MCIDC board meeting, Hartnell reported on the status of delinquent loans to American Tire, Wood Fiber, Robert Schram and Tom Teckham.
Hartnell said American Tire has accepted the MCIDC offer to settle for $60,000 recovery - $10,000 from each person involved, and the checks are in their attorney's office. All are ready to sign off, Hartnell said.
Wood Fiber has told her they are working on a payment, but she is waiting for Judge James Morrison to get back from leave on Wednesday, July 5 to sign the "replevin" order. Goetzman commented unless the money is received in 10 days the replevin goes into motion and the sale will go through.
Hartnell said Bob Schram stopped paying in January. She sent him a certified letter in May but has had no response. There is a judgment for $21,000, and he has paid $10,000, but if there are no further payments the board informally agreed they will garnish his wages. Mattison asked if they had waived interest on this loan, and no one was sure. Hartnell is to check.
Hartnell said Techam had called earlier in the month looking for further relief from the $25,000 sought for loan recovery. Hartnell said the payments for Post & Rail have run out, and he is living on Social Security and a small pension. He had made two payments of $7,500 each, the last one in May. Goetzman commented the balance was dropped from $165,000 to $25,000 previously and interest was waived, so he is asking for further relief on an already relieved loan. The board took no action on the request.
Hartnell reported New Life is still paying as agreed, Vargo is doing well, Evergreen is planning another expansion, Lithographers are paying well, and Morgan Park Lumber is sending monthly checks.
Tastee Bites is still on interest only payments through July. Hartnell said the owner is working nights at Marinette Marine and is working with Small Business Association consultants on doing more marketing.
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