FDL City Council President Discusses Short-Term Loan to Hotel Retlaw

The Fond du Lac City Council approved a short-term loan
to the owners of the Hotel Retlaw at its meeting last week. The council voted
6-to-1 to approve the $350,000 loan, which the hotel will use to maintain its
operating reserve until a portion of the federal tax credits for the hotel kick
in next year. “They’ve had a lot of delays,” City Council President Brian
Kolstad said. “There was some flooding, they had some pipes burst, they ran
into environmental concerns with asbestos and lead, and just the structural
concerns with redeveloping an old building and using new codes.” Kolstad says
all of those issues led to increased costs for the project and added delays to
the project as well.

The money for the new loan is coming from the city’s 2019
fund balance and was transferred to the city’s Economic Development Division. The
council previously approved a $2.3 million investment into the hotel through a
Tax Incremental Financing District in 2017. Even with the new investment,
Kolstad says taxpayers will not see a change in their tax bills. “The entire
project – the initial investment with the Tax Incremental Financing and the
short-term loan, has zero effect on your property tax bill,” Kolstad said. “But
it does have an amazing effect on our downtown and on our business community.” Kolstad
says the amount of money that has been invested in the Hotel Retlaw project
will have “tremendous returns” for the community in general.