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Hearing is today on county loan to renovate building


The county commissioners will hold a public hearing today to discuss a resolution that would allow the county to lend a businessman $8,500 to renovate an industrial property in New Windsor.

The hearing is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. in Room 300A of the County Office Building, 225 N. Center St., Westminster.

Emerson F. Bair of Westminster has asked state and local officials to lend him $85,000 to renovate a 129,000-square-foot building at 1301 Avondale Road. The state's share -- $76,500 -- would come from the Maryland Industrial and Commercial Redevelopment Fund, a program established several years ago to help local jurisdictions retain industry and employees.

The loans would be personally guaranteed by Bair and repaid in four years, at an interest rate of 4.69 percent, said Isaac Menasche, senior assistant county attorney. Payments would be due quarterly.

Most of the money would be used to repair the roof, Menasche said. A portion of the funds would also be used to renovate the interior of the structure, which is home to Vartta Industries and Lakewood Manufacturing. Vartta, a cabinet manufacturer, employs 42 people. Lakewood, which trades as Kirby Furniture, employs 87.

The renovation work would allow Lakewood to expand by about 1,500 square feet by absorbing some of Vartta's space. No new construction would be required.

The loan is "extremely important in retaining these two employers," said John T. Lyburn, county economic development director. Business provides slightly less than 12 percent of Carroll's tax base -- the lowest business-to-residential ratio in the region.

The commissioners are expected to take action on Bair's loan request the week of Jan. 17.

Pub Date: 1/06/99

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