NEW CASTLE Business looks for help in considering a move

Council will also consider change orders for downtown street work.
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- A business considering a move to a new home is looking for the city's help fixing it up.
The Shenango China Employees Federal Credit Union is considering buying 20-22 East Washington St., the former home of Supreme Furniture, and has applied for a city facade improvement loan-grant.
City council will discuss the matter at tonight's caucus meeting and likely vote on it Thursday.
The credit union is now in the First Merit Building on North Mill Street.
Owned by mayor
Mayor Timothy Fulkerson said he owns the East Washington Street building and is in the process of selling it to the credit union. Fulkerson said the credit union could not receive city money for improvements if he owns the building.
According to the credit union's application for the loan-grant, planned improvements include new windows, awnings, signs, doors and a roof.
All work must be approved by the city before the money is distributed, said John DiMuccio, city business administrator.
Required of recipients
The loan-grants are limited to 50 percent of the project cost or $20,000, whichever is less, according to program guidelines. After improvements are made the city will forgive the loan at 10 percent each year the building is occupied. If the building becomes vacant, the loan must be repaid at 3.75 percent interest.
DiMuccio said city council will also be asked to approve change orders for work on the downtown revitalization project.
Terreri Construction is preparing portions of East Washington and Mill streets for paving and new sidewalks.
DiMuccio said workers ran into problems when they dug up a parking lot on Mill Street, the site of the former Donati Music Store. The building had been razed and the lot filled with brick and lumber, he said.
Workers will now have to fill it with proper materials to eliminate the risk of collapse, he said. That will cost about $60,000.
Other extra costs downtown include relocating a fiber optic line and work needed to protect electric lines downtown while other construction continues.
DiMuccio said the city has enough money to pay for the extra work because bids for street paving and new sidewalks were lower than expected.

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