Kiddie Cats Commercial Loan Causes Strife Among City Council

By: Nathan Bloechl (nathanb@977thebolt.com)

Special Thanks to Humboldt City Administrator Travis Goedken

Humboldt, Iowa – The proposed Kiddie Cats Day Care Center continues to be the epicenter of discussion between Humboldt City Officials.

The day care center is currently accepting donations and the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital has said that if the fundraising efforts and the cash flow go away, the Hospital would give $100,000 over the course of twenty years, if necessary.

The City of Humboldt, too, would cover that possible event, also potentially giving $200,000 over the course twenty years towards Kiddie Cats contingent of course, on cash flow and fundraising efforts falling short.

At Tuesday evening’s Humboldt City Council work session the ringing theme from a majority of the councilmen was “people of Humboldt want to know what [the city] can do for them.”

Simply put, the council understands the need for people of Humboldt, as well as people of surrounding areas, to have daycare providers. putting the discussion at the forefront for many city officials.

“There is a yearn for daycare in the area and the project needs to be moving forward” councilman John Sleiter said.

Sleiter’s point is backed up strongly, as it was announced that three in-home daycare providers are planning on leaving the industry with only one new in-home provider expressing interest.

The issue for many, however, is the $200,000 emergency aid on behalf of the city.

If donations and/or profits from Kiddie Cats don’t match that money, Humboldt taxpayers would be on the hook for the remainder of the funds, said City Administrator Travis Goedken.

In other words, the city would act as the co-signers of the pledge.

“Based upon the projections, and the fact that it would be an asset to the community, having the city’s exposure [to the loan], the expectation is that the donations that have come in that will be pledges they will actually repay that debt along with the fact that the projections show that it could service the debt on it’s own” Goedken explained.

Ward 3 Councilman Joel Goodell is concerned about putting the city on the hook for potentially paying back part of the $200,000 city pledge, believing that may anger Humboldt residents, especially in his ward.

However most of the council expressed that the city ‘co-signing’ would be the best to keep the daycare on it’s originally scheduled timeline.

At-large councilman Kirk Whittlesey concluded, “You just have to believe in the city.”

Talks regarding Kiddie Cats Daycare are expected to continue in the upcoming months.