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McHenry City Council OKs $55,000 loan for artisan bread, craft beer business

Aldermen also talk fireworks display for July

McHENRY – An artisanal bread maker and brewer plans to open in McHenry.

After much discussion, the McHenry City Council approved a revolving loan for a new business idea in McHenry.

On Monday, the McHenry City Council considered a revolving loan submitted by Jimmybread LLC, doing business as Jimmybread & Brew, in the amount of $55,000.

Jimmybread intends to use the money, along with investor dollars, to build a business in McHenry that sells artisan bread using fresh ingredients and also brews a small batch of craft beers.

The motion to consider approval of the loan was made by 7th Ward Alderman Geri Condon and was seconded by 5th Ward Alderman Richard Wimmer.

“I think it has potential to be just a great new asset to our community, so I’m really excited to see it move forward,” Condon said.

Fourth Ward Alderman Scott Curry said while he thinks it’s a good idea, a report from William Busse, president and CEO at First National Bank of McHenry, addressed some financial concerns about the venture, including a reliance on outside financing. Because of the concerns, Curry said he intended to vote against the motion.

“I wish you every luck if it goes through. ... Just from a financial standpoint, it’s not necessarily a reflection on you personally or anything, it just doesn’t come up to snuff as far as what I look at and what Mr. Busse looked at,” Curry said.

“It is a risk, I’m not going to say that it isn’t, but every single one of these (revolving) loans have been a risk,” Condon said.

After some discussion, the motion carried on a 4-3 vote. Voting “no” were 2nd Ward Aldermen Andrew Glab, Curry and Patrick Devine, who took his oath of office earlier in the meeting, replacing Robert Peterson as the new 6th Ward alderman.

In a separate matter, the council also discussed a motion to reconsider proposals for the fireworks celebration.

The agenda’s original motion was to approve a contract with Melrose Pyrotechnics to produce a 25-minute fireworks display July 1 in conjunction with the annual Jaycees Day Fireworks Celebration in Petersen Park.

Before the motion was called, Andrew James, owner of Mad Bomber Fireworks Productions, said he never received a request from the city. Mad Bomber did the fireworks show for the city in 2016.

Deputy Chief Administrator Bill Hobson said he’s not sure how Mad Bomber didn’t receive a request for quotation from the city and invited Mad Bomber representatives to attend the meeting and share their desire to still be evaluated.

“Considering they didn’t get it, I think to some extent it would be fair to everybody that if we rejected this proposal and we go out and ask staff to get the proposals once again and review them,” Glab said.

Third Ward Alderman Jeffrey Schaefer later made a new motion to direct the staff to bring a new set of fireworks proposals at the next meeting. The motion was unanimously approved by the board.

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