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Zebulon grants $90,000 loan for renovation

Zebulon city council members postponed discussion of a new proposed settlement related to a Brent Pike housing development until members could study it. The proposal was submitted just a couple hours before the Tuesday, July 8 meeting so no decisions were made. It will be discussed again at the Aug. 12 meeting. Several citizens opposed the development, saying it will have negative impacts on the county including increased taxes due to additional costs for traffic control, county services and educational expenses. Council members unanimously approved a loan of $90,000 to the Zebulon Downtown Development Authority from the city revolving loan fund to be used for economic development. ’We’re trying to bring life back to Zebulon by bringing business in,’ said DDA director Chris Curry. ‘We’d like to buy a building on the square and renovate it. We’ve already been approved by the loan committee and we have one tenant who is ready to move forward.’ The building to be renovated was formerly Zeb Stuart’s restaurant next to the Oink Joint. City attorney Rob Morton told council about requested terms submitted by the loan committee. He noted the loan is a 75% revolving loan, which requires a 25% match. The loan is contingent upon an appraisal. He also said when the loan fund was set up before the country’s economic setback the interest rate was at 10% with no more than a seven-year payback term. He proposed an interest rate at fair market value and a 10-year payback period which was approved by council. During a public hearing prior to the vote, two citizens spoke in favor of the loan, including former mayor Bobby Blalock and James Turpin. ’I’ve been living here for 37 years and I commend Chris and the DDA for what they’ve done so far,’ said Turpin. ‘They seem to have Zebulon headed in the right direction. I hope you as mayor and council would support them in the future and tonight give this group an opportunity to do great things for Zebulon.’ Council members approved sending a letter to Judge Johnnie Caldwell to ask for Department of Corrections assistance by providing laborers to replace the roof on the old school building on Adams Street as a collaborative renovation effort between Zebulon and the DDA. ’Private individuals have come forward and offered to purchase materials. A total of $24,000 in materials is needed,’ said Curry. ‘We have an estimate from a licensed professional for materials costs and we aren’t going to proceed until we have the money in the bank. It takes a long process to get the DOC to approve labor requests so we thought we’d go ahead and start. If approved, a crew of prisoners who are experts in roofing will come down and repair the roof.’ Council also: ’¢ Approved a second reading with amendments to the city code regarding misdemeanors that stipulate required time frames for certain violation remediations. ’¢ Commended officer Shaun Carr for his service. ’¢ Called a closed session to discuss pending or potential litigation and personnel but reconvened to take no further action other than adjournment.

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