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SHARON City acts on business-loan defaults



Published: Fri, April 19, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



The Rib Connection and Central Perk & amp; Deli have fallen behind in their loan payments.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

SHARON, Pa. -- The city will go after the personal property of two businesses and their owners to recover money lent to them from Sharon's small-business revolving loan fund.

City council Thursday authorized City Solicitor William Madden to seek execution of judgments secured against both The Rib Connection at 561 S. Dock St. and Central Perk & amp; Deli at 37 Chestnut St. last year during an earlier period of delinquency.

Execution of judgment means the Mercer County sheriff will be sent to the businesses and the homes of the business owners to seize business and personal property to satisfy the debt, Madden said.

Each business borrowed $10,000 through the loan program, and Madden said Central Perk is $1,978 behind in its payments, and The Rib Connection is $2,334 behind.

The city threatened to take similar action against both businesses a year ago, but they made efforts to bring their payments current, Madden said.

However, they have fallen behind again and recent efforts to get them to pay up have been unsuccessful, he said.

"It's not like we don't want to pay or anything," Jack Evans, owner of The Rib Connection, told The Vindicator in a telephone interview after the meeting.

What caused problems

He said his business has fallen on some difficult times because of a construction project next door that created problems in the area, causing his operation to suffer.

He estimated his business losses at more than $25,000.

"We got behind. We're trying to work ourselves through," Evans said, adding that he doesn't recall any recent communication from the city about the debt.

"This is a total shock to me," he said, noting that he planned to contact city officials this morning to arrange payment.

A spokeswoman for Central Perk reached by phone after the meeting said she would also be in immediate contact with the city to make arrangements to pay the debt.

City council members said the city has been patient long enough.

"I think it's imperative that we take action," said Councilman Ray Fabian.

"We just can't let it go any longer," added Councilman Lou Rotunno.




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