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JDA discusses student loan payment plan

By Staff | Oct 21, 2016

The Rugby Job Development Authority Board is still looking into the specifics of a student loan repayment program for entry level professionals.

At a meeting Wednesday morning, board members discussed a draft of a proposal for the program. The program would provide assistance for two-years, paying up to $125 a month. Applicants would have to reside in Pierce County, and their positions would have to be in Rugby. The proposal allows for a salary limit of $45,000 or less.

In the proposal, the amount the JDA would have to budget would be $6,000 in the first year of implementation and $12,000 a year afterward.

The proposal mentioned communities with similar programs making lump sum instead of monthly payments, and doing a “claw back” if the recipient of the loan assistance program is no longer employed in the community.

Board member Pete Burgard said one concern with the proposed program was how would Form 1099s be issued. Executive Director Joseph Pelt said via phone that the JDA would have to issue Form 1099s to recipients.

Burgard said another concern would be if recipients’ credit scores are affected should the JDA ever make late payments to loan servicers. Pelt said he would hope, if the program were implemented, the JDA would be “on top” of its game.

Board member and Rugby Public School District Superintendent Mike McNeff asked if there was a need to require applicants to stay in the area for a period of time and how the application process would work. Rugby Mayor Arland Geiszler asked if the process would need to be extensive and involve a background and credit history check. Pelt said guidelines have to be in place for what the board can and cannot accept.

“It sounds like there’s a lot of t’s that need to be crossed and i’s that need to be dotted before it’s acceptable to the board,” Geiszler said.

The board discussed a need for funding for a new housing market study; parties showing interest in developing lots on Chalmer’s First Addition; special assessments; and moving $50,000 of money market assets to First International Bank.

The board did not have an official meeting, as it did not have enough members present to make a quorum. The board is expected to have an email meeting on Monday.

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