BARODA — The Baroda Village Council on Tuesday approved a $40,000 loan for the proposed Chill Hill wine tasting room at 8992 First Street.
Trustee Larry Nye said the funds will be used to “fix up the building.” More details about the fix-up will come out when the loan is closed, he added.
Nye said the owners plan to “spend $100,000 or more on that building. It’ll be nice to get that building fixed up.”
Council President Bob Getz after the meeting said this will be the third wine-tasting facility or winery downtown. The three businesses will help each other rather than compete, he added.
“Baroda can be a destination now,” Getz said. “There’s a lot of buses coming on the weekend. You can get off the bus and you can do the whole circle, instead of just doing one. We’ve got three wine-tasting rooms or a winery, plus a brewery. I think it’s a good thing.”
All three wine-tasting facilities will be close to each other downtown, including Baroda Founders Wine Cellar at 8963 Hills Road and Lake Michigan Vintners at 8972 First St. The Round Barn Public House brewery is just a short stroll to the south at 9151 First St.
The council approved the loan based on a recommendation from its Revolving Loan Committee. Interest will be at 4 percent, and the loan is for five years. The now-vacant building is owned by Agrimarks Baroda.
The loan will be to Norma and Ashley Nitz, according to the council resolution. Officials after the meeting said Dan Nitz is the chief executive officer of the business.
Also Tuesday, the council agreed to pay monthly utility bills electronically. “Saves stamps, saves checks,” said Treasurer Barbi Hammond.
In other matters, the council failed to reach agreement on a purchasing policy. The village doesn’t have one, and the village’s accountant said it should have one, Clerk Tina Boehm said after the meeting.
Nye said he objects to the proposed limitations on spending funds even in an emergency.
The transmission of the village’s salt truck failed on Thursday, but it was back in business by Saturday at a cost of about $2,000, Nye said. Under the proposed policy, that probably would have been impossible, he added.
“I just worry about passing stuff that, down the road, is going to cause problems,” Nye said. Baroda is a small community and doesn’t need to operate like a large one, he said.
Hammond said the policy will come up again at the next meeting. In the meantime, council members should email their suggestions to her, she said.