In April, Van Vleet Meat & Food Service Co., which has been operating in Albany for more than 20 years, asked the City Council for a loan of about $700,000 to expand the business. Three months later, the board said yes.

Seth Sherry, economic development manager for the city, brought the issue back to the council at its Monday work meeting. Under the terms of the loan, Columbia Bank will provide an 80% loan for the construction of the new building. Van Vleet will fund the remaining 20%. Once construction is completed, which is expected to be within a year, the loan, which totals $3.9 million, will convert to a term loan.

“Columbia would then take on 60% (of the principal), they (Van Vleet) would take 20% and the city would take the remaining 20%,” Sherry said, adding that the city would charge 4% interest for 10 years. The city's portion of the loan totals $744,000. 

The company is proposing an expansion that will include an 8,500-square-foot regional distribution center with cold storage and temperature controlled dock. Sherry said a low appraisal due to inadequate available comparisons caused a funding gap for the project of $912,613. Sherry also said that banks do not traditionally lend more than 50% of the cost for similar projects because of the limited use of the building.

Van Vleet supplies wholesale food products to independent restaurants and food vendors throughout the mid-valley. In April, the company said that the facility, located on the corner of Ninth Avenue and Jackson Street, needed to expand to keep up with demands on the business.

“The type of building we want to build is an expensive one to build,” owner Bill Van Vleet told the council in April. “But if we want to stay in business we need to build the building and grow.”

Also during Monday's work session, City Manager Peter Troedsson received a 1.3% cost of living raise immediately following an executive session at which his performance was evaluated.

The board also changed Troedsson's severance package. For every year of service, Troedsson will receive an additional month of severance on top of his original six-month package. The package is capped at 12 months and is only valid if the city manager is not dismissed for cause. The council noted that Troedsson turned down all other suggested compensation. 

Troedsson was hired in 2017 at a base salary of $153,456 and received a raise last year bringing his salary to $164,965. Including benefits, a car stipend and other perks, Troedsson's compensation totaled $196,408. 

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