If our city commission can find $1.6 million to spend on windmills, why not put that money to real sustainable growth in our community? That amount of money, if available, could be used for incubator loans for say, four new businesses, as loans of $400,000 to each new business to help them get started.
The conditions for each loan would be that the business must use the loans for infrastructure on a business that creates at least five new full-time jobs paying at least $10 per hour. The loans would have to be paid back over 20 years at an interest rate of five percent per year with one fourth of the principle of the loan being repaid over every five-year period, in addition to interest.
The interest on the loans would generate $80,000 per year, a full third more than the windmills. Twenty new jobs would be created with a payroll of $416,000 per year, bringing in $4,160 per year in city income tax on the business profits and property taxes.
Better yet, the funds loaned would be paid back, not depleted over the life of the loan, as the windmill investment would, making it possible to fund another business every five years.
At the end of 20 years, we would have funded at least eight new businesses with at least 40 new jobs, and we would still have the $1.6 million initial seed money working for us in the community.
That's 40 jobs over 20 years, and 40 people paying into Social Security and Medicare.
If we are going to invest in our community, as taxpayers, let's make the investments worthwhile.
After all it's our money the politicians are spending and this would not be a "give away" program.
Ronald G. Kaufman