A downtown McCook gift shop has filed for bankruptcy protection, but its owner assured Red Willow County commissioners Monday morning that she intends to repay her loan from the county.
Betty Kenner, owner of Accents Etc., told commissioners during their weekly meeting that Chapter 11 bankruptcy will allow her to reorganize, stay in business and continue to liquidate inventory to pay her creditors. "I'm still trying to get everybody paid," Kenner said. "I reassure you, I'm not trying to skip out."
Kenner owes the county's revolving loan program $44,251 of a $70,000 loan taken out in August 2006. With the seven-year, 5 percent/interest loan, Kenner bought out partners who retired, and continued the gift, flower, framing and antique consignment shop in the 300 block of Norris Avenue in downtown McCook.
County Attorney Paul Wood told commissioners that Chapter 11 bankruptcy is not liquidation, but will allow Kenner to reorganize to pay her debts.
Commissioner Leigh Hoyt asked Wood, "This will reorganize what we've already reorganized?"
In April 2009, the county and Kenner rewrote Kenner's loan agreement to move two late payments to the end of the loan period in 2013 and temporarily remove a job creation requirement. Kenner told commissioners in January 2010 that she intends to take 10 percent off most of her inventory each month through McCook's annual "Crazy Days" summer sales promotion in July.
As of the commissioners' meeting Monday morning, Kenner had not made January or February payments, each of which is $989.37.
Wood told commissioners they can take no action on Kenner's bankruptcy, as the proceedings include an automatic stay until temporary and final reorganization plans are filed. Wood said that he will file the county's claim in Kenner's bankruptcy proceeding.
In other action, commissioners:
* Signed an agreement to pay 20 percent of costs to inspect the two bridges in Red Willow County rated "fracture critical." Specially-trained bridge officials have inspected a bridge at Marion and another southeast of Bartley on Road 719 to comply with enhanced state and federal bridge inspection requirements.
Costs of the inspections are approximately $1,185; the county will be required to pay about $237.