City extends hotel loan payment date
At the Tuesday, Aug. 10 meeting of the Sleepy Eye City Council, Jeff Ruhr, President of Sleepy Eye Lodging, LLC (AmericInn) was in attendance to ask for an extension on the due date of the balloon payment for the $400,000 loan the City made at the time the company purchased the then closed hotel. The original agreement called for payment on Aug. 21, 2021. Ruhr said their intention was to refinance their main loan at Americana to include the loan payment amount but the impact of covid on their sales affects the ability to do that at this time because hotels are valued based on sales. Ruhr said, "I've talked to Brad Mathiowetz at the bank and they are more than happy to keep the loan, renew it, and work with us on that [refinancing]." Ruhr said the hotel in 2021 is very close to meeting the sales figure achieved in 2019.
Ruhr asked for a one year extension with the understanding Sleepy Eye Lodging LLC would also pay half of the $63,709 interest—which would have been forgiven if the loan was paid at this time. On a motion by Doug Pelzel, seconded by Scott Krzmarzick, the council unanimously approved the extension.
In a conversation outside the council chambers, Ruhr told the Herald-Dispatch that the hotel had experienced steady increases in sales each year prior to the pandemic and he expects it to continue to perform well going forward.
The council accepted a donation of $2,477.07 from United Farmers Cooperative to the Sleepy Eye Fire Department for equipment maintenance and training.
The council approved the purchase of the home next door to the fire station, for $200,000, to be used for any future expansion of the fire station.
Engineer Matt Miller told the council that St. Mary's Street will be surfaced and open to traffic late next week.