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Hagerstown City Council briefs

April 24, 2013

$6,000 loan-to-grant OK'd for El Paso Mexican Restaurant

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a $6,000 loan-to-grant for El Paso Mexican Restaurant, which plans to relocate downtown in May.

The eatery, owned by Jose Gomez, has been at 700 Dual Highway for two decades, but is in the process of renovating a downtown site at 12 E. Washington St., according to an April 12 memo from Andrew Sargent, downtown manager, to Bruce Zimmerman, city administrator.

The principal on the loan will be forgiven after 36 months if the business:

• Creates no fewer than seven full-time and three part-time jobs at the new location.
• Maintains both the jobs and business at the new location for no fewer than 36 months.
• Complies with all local ordinances and regulations. 

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Gomez is in the process of completing structural and aesthetic renovations to the site’s interior in addition to painting the exterior and installing new awnings and signage on building’s facade, the memo states.

According to the memo, Gomez wishes to relocate by early May, in time for Cinco de Mayo (May 5).

$7,000 grant program OK'd for businesses in City Center

The Hagerstown City Council on Tuesday approved a $7,000 grant program for existing businesses in City Center to seek financial assistance of up to $500 each.

The grant program, called “Spring Sprout Grants,” is designed to assist for-profit downtown businesses in purchasing equipment or training to help “the business grow, expand or operate more efficiently and/or more competitively,” according to an April 11 memo from Downtown Manager Andrew Sargent to City Administrator Bruce Zimmerman.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the full $7,000, funded through the Economic Development operating budget, has been allocated, the memo states.

City enters into deal with PAL and school board to allow construction of activity rooms in city-owned building

The City of Hagerstown will enter into an agreement between the Hagerstown Area Police Athletic League (PAL) and the Washington County Board of Education to allow construction of activity rooms and more in a city-owned building, following unanimous approval Tuesday by the Hagerstown City Council.

The project at 520 N. Cannon Ave., where activity rooms, a lounge area and locker rooms will be constructed, will allow PAL to expand its program offerings, according to city documents.

Washington County Technical High School students will provide the labor to complete the project and PAL will supply the materials, city documents read.

— Holly Shok

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