A Winamac restaurant is scaling back its request for financing through Pulaski County’s revolving loan program, amid concerns from the county’s attorney. Tippy’s had asked for a $40,000 loan to help cover the cost of buying a building at 123 North Market Street and moving the business there.
The Pulaski County Commissioners approved that request last month, pending the approval of County Attorney Kevin Tankersley. But during Monday’s meeting, he said he still was not convinced that there was enough collateral. “I’m not a loan officer,” he said. “My job is just to look and see whether or not there’s enough collateral there to if things go south, are we going to get our money back? So that’s my opinion, and that’s why I gave you the opinion on this one, that no, I don’t think you would get your money back, certainly not on the personal property, and the real estate, I think, is completely upside-down, based on the assessed value.”
To ease some of Tankersley’s concerns, Tippy’s owner Sheila Jimenez has worked out a deal where the restaurant would instead lease the space from the current property owner, at least for the time-being. That lowered the loan request from $40,000 to $25,000.
Still, Tankersley worried that the equipment used as collateral wouldn’t actually be worth the $47,000 that Jimenez estimated. As an additional offer, Jimenez said that if for some reason Tippy’s is unable to pay off its loan, the current owner of the potential new location would be willing to buy the restaurant’s equipment and rent the space to someone else. On top of that, her father has offered a truck as collateral. But none of that was in writing, as of Monday’s meeting.
Further complicating matters, Jimenez said the lease on the restaurant’s current space is up at the end of this month. “I can’t stay there,” she said. “I did have a phone call saying that they expect me to be out.”
After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners agreed to the updated request, on the condition that a written agreement with the property owner could be obtained, and the truck could be appraised.