- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 23, 2015

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) - The Beatrice City Council has written off collecting $880,000 in outstanding balances on three loans with companies that are no longer operating, but it’s not giving up hope that it eventually could recoup the money, an official said.

Council members addressed the balances Monday night after city auditors expressed concern over the debt. The city wrote off a $250,000 loan to Store Kraft, $330,000 of a $600,000 loan to 5Stat, and a $300,000 loan to Blue Valley Automation, the Beatrice Sun (https://bit.ly/1QZ0uQg ) reported.

“Based upon their recommendation and the current status of these loans, we’re recommending that we write off the remaining portion of this debt,” City Administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said. “It doesn’t mean we give up collecting on it, but it’s an accounting procedure that we do here.”

Community Development Block Grant loans are meant to support business and activities that stimulate job creation and economic expansion.

In May 2014, the council approved the loan for Store Kraft at 3 percent interest for job creation and retention purposes. The company defaulted on the loan without any payment of principal or interest after Meridian Bank of Texas foreclosed on its assets last November.

A loan agreement with 5Stat, a Store Kraft subsidiary, was approved by the council in November 2009 for research and development, which would result in additional jobs. The city forgave $150,000 of the loan, the company made payments totaling $120,000 over two years, and the rest was written off Monday night.

The council approved a loan for Blue Valley Automation in April 2009 under an agreement with the company to add 10 full-time employees within a year.

Blue Valley Automation filed for bankruptcy in August 2010.

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Information from: Beatrice Sun, https://www.beatricedailysun.com

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