Granite Falls child care center seeks loan from YMC

GRANITE FALLS — Puddle Jumpers Learning Center in Granite Falls has applied for a Yellow Medicine County deferred loan for child care centers in the amount of $25,000.

Director of Family Services Rae Ann Keeler-Aus will be presenting the request at the Yellow Medicine County Board meeting today, the agenda said.

“The Family Service Center has received the loan request to the Yellow Medicine County child care center deferred loan program from Puddle Jumpers Learning Center,” Keeler-Aus said.

The application is for equipment including shelving and materials, learning materials and curriculum, learning center co-owner Emily Balfany said on the application. Co-owner Jessica Busack’s name was on the application as well.

“They’re requesting funding for 15 additional school-age spots,” Keeler-Aus said. “They have provided a detailed expense list of $25,225.12 that shows the need for the funding. In addition, Puddle Jumpers has provided a list of community donations totaling $25,193.00.”

Keeler-Aus and County Administrator Peg Heglund had proposed the original grant program in July. The original proposed rates were $25,000 loan limit for center based providers and $1,500 loan limit for family based providers. Each application would be for a five year deferred loan period, Heglund said. Twenty percent of the loan was forgiven each year if the borrower remained in business. Remaining loan balances at a point less than five years would be due immediately, she said.

“If they can’t repay a lump sum, payment arrangements can be made,” Heglund had said. “However, interest would be charged.”

Balfany was unavailable for further comment.

The Puddle Jumpers Learning Center is located at 1593 11th Ave., Granite Falls.

A couple of other items on the YMC Board meeting agenda include a Highway 23 Coalition presentation by Aaron Backman and a discussion regarding broadband and what can be done now in preparation for a potential grant from the state of Minnesota.

Backman is the secretary and treasurer of the Highway 23 Coalition Board and also membership committee chair through 2020. He is also the executive director at Kandiyohi County and city of Willmar Economic Development Commission (EDC).

The county commissioners will also be reviewing the first draft of the 2019 budget.