The former owners of a closed Montgomery restaurant that received an economic development loan from Kendall County has a new payment plan with the county for half of the monthly payment it originally agreed upon.
The County Board voted 6-1 on Tuesday, Aug. 21, in favor of a new payment plan that requires Michael Manfre, James A. Manfre and Priscilla Liberatore, the borrowers and owners of the now-closed Lucky’s Beef n Dogs in Montgomery, to pay $225 a month on their revolving economic development loan from the county.
Board member Matt Kellogg voted no, while Chairman Scott Gryder and board members Audra Hendrix, John Purcell, Bob “H.D.” Davidson and Matthew Prochaska voted in favor of the plan. Board members Lynn Cullick, Tony Giles and Elizabeth Flowers were absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
The business owners originally borrowed $32,500 from the county with a 2.9 percent interest rate and a $492 monthly payment.
However, the business closed at the beginning of the year and county officials said the owners failed to respond to efforts to contact them about the loan. At a County Board Economic Development Committee meeting in January, board members learned that the owners had only made one partial payment on the loan.
According to County Administrator Scott Koeppel, the outstanding balance of the loan is now $33,441.16, which consists of $32,086.20 in principal and $1,354.96 in accrued interest and late fees. According to Koeppel, “in the new agreement the borrowers will pay the interest and late fees upfront and then the new loan amount in the months to follow.”
“We hope this new arrangement will work for all parties involved,” Koeppel said.
Assistant State’s Attorney Leslie Johnson said at a February County Board meeting where board members agreed to pursue collection of the loan plus interest that the business owners “failed to make multiple monthly payments.”
County records show that the owners have paid $413.80 in principal and $73.20 in interest on the $32,500 loan.
The owners used their personal home on Hamlet Circle in Montgomery as collateral via a second mortgage, according to county officials.
In an email sent shortly after the restaurant closed, Liberatore wrote that the county loan was backed by their family home.
“We are extremely disappointed in the outcome of Lucky’s Beef n Dogs,” she wrote. “We were losing money every month at an astronomical pace. We chose to stop the bleeding. We leveraged everything we had to make the restaurant work but to no avail. The loan with the county is secured by our personal home. I’m sure you can understand with this position on our home, there is a good chance the loan will be made good.”