New Crookston Housing & Economic Development Authority (CHEDA) director Robert Barnes said one of the first items he was asked to address when he arrived was the former coffee shop on University Avenue and the loan(s) that Chickadee Coffee had through CHEDA, he told the board at their January meeting. Barnes mentioned that the board never took action to forgive the loans or collect proceeds from the loans, and some of the collateral (property) from the former business may or may not still be in the building they were using to store it so he needed some direction.
The board ultimately told Barnes to contact Chickadee Coffee owner Jack “Jerry” Snow about the status of the loans before any other actions would be considered, like pursuing legal claim or forgiveness, and the quality of the collateral came up as it was also used by Heroes Rise Coffee Company when they occupied the building from late 2020 to mid 2021.
City Attorney Corky Reynolds confirmed there were two loans with Snow and Chickadee, and mentioned, when asked, that there was originally an itemized list of equipment with appraisal price when the equipment was being used by Chickadee but a follow-up list was not done after Heroes used it. Evers then told the board that former CHEDA director, Craig Hoiseth, had visited Heroes’ Bemidji location and noticed some of CHEDA’s equipment there.
It was reported by staff that Heroes had not paid any money to CHEDA for the use of the equipment or any other type of assistance they received. Some board members felt the Heroes agreement was secondary to Chickadee and Barnes was instructed to investigate.