to loan the automotive equipment com-pany $300,000 from the city’s revolving loan fund.
Racemark will also borrow $200,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission for a total of $500,000, including the city’s funds, at two percent interest for 10 years.
The interest rate, which is down from five percent, is “very attractive,” Council Member George Crowley said.
Crowley said he was “still probably a little concerned about the (company’s) financial informa-tion,” and that the company is trending downward financially, probably due in part to the current economic climate.
However, he said Racemark does not do business with the “big three” automobile manufacturers that have run into financial troubles in the past year and that the company has a good chance of picking up business from the Volkswagon plant that is still planned for Chattanooga.
“If we don’t loan it, I think we’re going to lose it anyway,” Crowley said of the loan fund money, which originally came to the city through the Department of Community Affairs.
Its purpose, he said, was to establish a perpetual fund; as borrowers paid back in, money could be loaned out again. The city has to keep a percentage of the money loaned out in order to keep the fund open, Crowley said.
The city has had the fund for some 30 years, he estimated. There is about $1 million in it right now.
In order for the loan to be made, Racemark must close on it by Aug. 17.
In early July, Racemark announced it would restructure its Malta, NY plant by laying off 36 em-ployees and bringing more of its manufacturing operations to Calhoun. The employees let go will have the opportunity to apply for positions at the Calhoun facility, according to CEO Ginger Cannon Bailey.
“You’re just playing your risk” that loaning the funds will help to bring more money into the community, said Council Member David Hammond.
Merchant concerns Council members voted to deny a beer package license request by Cleopatra Alvarez for la Cos-tena Mini Market at 609 North Wall Street.
Gary Goins, owner of Forgiven Ink, a nearby tattoo parlor he said is a “family-oriented business” spoke out against the request saying he has had to pick up beer cans from his parking lot before.
He said he brings his children to work and that clients are often accompanied by their children who play outside the store. “I don’t want the hassle,” he said of the possibility of alcohol being sold nearby.
Crowley originally made a motion to approve the package license request, saying the alcohol could not be consumed on the premises, so cans would have to be disposed of elsewhere. The motion died without a second, and council members ended up denying the request unanimously.
Calhoun citizen Celeste Chattam addressed the council with concerns about individuals setting up yard sales within the city on commercial property. Chattam, who owns two thrift-type stores said her businesses “depend solely on the community” and that yard sales pull business away from her and other merchants.
These individuals are not paying for utilities or overhead costs, she said, but are “in the same high traffic area that we’re in … (They) start anywhere from Thursday and run clear through Sunday — they are businesses.”
She said she has spoken with law enforcement officers about shutting down the yard sale opera-tions, which are prohibited by city ordinances.
The Mayor pointed out some of the pieces of property she listed are not actually within the city, and Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss said his officers had actually shut down three such operations in Calhoun on the past week.
Palmer said the ordinance, which deals with residents and transient vendors bringing materials for sale into the city, is “there to support local businesses and to help them survive.” He encouraged Chattam to call the city with any concerns about non-legitimate businesses.
Northwest Georgia Regional Commission
Council members also approved a resolution to establish boundaries for the new NGRC (North-west Georgia Regional Commission), which encompasses the counties that were formed the former North Georgia and Coosa Valley Regional Development Centers. The new regional commission board, said Hammond, who is also a regional commission board member, has a stronger, broader base and is the second largest commission in the state behind the Atlanta commission.
The NGRC, he said will be critical in securing federal and state funds for things like workforce investment endeavors and the Area Agency on Aging, as well as helping smaller governments with their organizational processes.
The council also approved annual NGRC dues in the amount of $1 per capita. This number is down from the $1.05 the city was paying as part of the Coosa Valley Regional Development Center. Hammond said pulling the two centers together resulted in the dropped rate and a $45,000 savings for the city.
Also during the July 27 Calhoun city council meeting, council members:
* Approved a bid award of $44,650 to KESCO, Inc. for two vertical turbine pumps at the Covington Bridge Road booster station.
* Approved a bid award of $512,471 to Precon Corporation for a million gallon tank for the Brittany Drive water treatment plant.
* Approved a bid award of $889,069 to C & S Construction for a sewer line replacement project in West Calhoun.
* Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a taxi license request from Hermelindo J. Davila.
n Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a taxi license request from Maximiliano C. Soriano.
* Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a beer pouring license from Jason B. Marshall for a loca-tion at 165 Outlet Center Drive, Suite 5.
* Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a beer, wine and liquor package license request from Balkishan Soni for a location of 767 Highway 53 East.
* Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a beer, wine and liquor package license from Dilip S. Patel for a location at 100 Highway 53 Southeast.
* Set a public hearing date of Aug. 10 for a beer and liquor license request fro Derrick Williams for a location of 119 Kelly Court.
n Approved a request from Vicki Spence with United Way to have the 16th annual Unity Run in Cal-houn Sept. 29 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Spence said the event attracted 800 runners last year and that this year’s participants will receive a t-shirt with the GEM Theater on it.
* Approved the surplus sale on www.govdeals.com of four vehicles used in Calhoun Police De-partment special operations endeavors: a 1999 Ford Expedition, a 1995 Nissan Passport, a 205 Nissan XTerra and a 1999 Ford F-150. All four were originally confiscated vehicles.
* Set a public hearing date of Sept. 14 for an annexation and zoning request by Larry Mulkey/ Gar-land Cook for property located at 1405 Highway 41 North. The acreage is .55, and the request is for A-1 to C-2 zoning.