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BLOOMINGTON - Two local projects, including one to build YMCA's new facility, received some help from the McLean County Board on Tuesday.

The YMCA's project will be financed through the county's bonding authority. A brew pub planned in Normal received a larger loan from the county.

The County Board voted unanimously to take out $10 million in bonds on behalf of the YMCA, which is planning a 62,500-square-foot facility on donated land south of Ireland Grove Road and west of Towanda Barnes Road in Bloomington.

Board Vice Chairman Matt Sorensen said the county is helping a local nonprofit group by issuing the bonds. The YMCA will pay for the bonds, so the county is lending the money but not paying for the project.

Using a local government's bonding authority to finance a project is not unusual and the county has done it before.

Board member Paul Segobiano said he was concerned that issuing bonds for the YMCA would open the door for other nonprofit agencies to receive loans from the county.

Sorensen said the county always has been open to that possibility. However, he added that by issuing the bonds for the YMCA, the county would reach its maximum bonding limit. The county will not be able to issue any more bonds for itself or any other nonprofit until the end of the year, when other bonds are retired.

In an unrelated item, the County Board approved a $350,000 loan to DISTIHL to locate a restaurant and microbrewery at the Shoppes of College Hills. Previously, the county approved a $225,000 loan to the project last year. However, County Administrator John Zeunik said the project has changed in scope and size, including the addition of more full-time employees.

The microbrewery will create the equivalent of 45 full-time jobs.

The loan, part of the county's Community Development Assistance Program, will be paid in five years with a 6 percent interest rate.


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