ROCKINGHAM — One local restaurant will soon be under new ownership thanks, in part, to help from the city.
The Rockingham City Council on Tuesday approved a $25,000 loan to Jeanna Cloninger to use as part of the down payment to purchase Dairy Queen.
City Manager Monty Crump said Cloninger has managed the restaurant for several years.
Councilman Bennett Deane said he was glad to see Dairy Queen remain locally owned.
The loan, to be paid back over seven years at 4 percent interest, is possible through the Urban Development Action Grant fund, a revolving-door loan for economic development. The fund was established after the federal government loaned money to a local industry for expansion in the 1970s. That money was then paid back to the city to use for loans to small businesses.
Evolution Fitness, Simply Chic Boutique and Bold Moves Dance Studio were all awarded similar loans in 2016.
Earlier in the meeting, the council voted to approve three demolition ordinances for homes in the city: 171 Cartledge Creek Road; 212 S. Brookwood Ave.; and 141 Hannah Pickett Church St.
City Planner John Massey, showing photos of the outside and inside of the properties, said the city has heard no response from either of the owners since the abandoned structure process during the summer months.
He added that vagrants had been going in and vandalizing the home on Brookwood.
Speaking to the television audience, Mayor Steve Morris said the city will tear down the homes and send the bills to the owners.
Councilmembers also voted to:
- approve a resolution to request federal reimbursement for overtime, road repairs and other costs associated with Hurricane Florence;
- approve the final draft of a construction lease agreement for the Richmond Community College downtown campus; and
- appoint Malcolm McLester to fill the unexpired term of his father, Bob McLester, on the ABC Board and to make him chairman of that board.