Council funds hotel, library amid concerns | News, Sports, Jobs

Warren City Council agreed in the Times Observer to help fund a project that would transform this building into the so-called Wendleboe Hotel.

Warren City Council in November directed staff to advance documents to allocate $1.5 million in government grant funding to a proposed boutique hotel on Liberty St.

The Board approved a sub-donor agreement for this project this week but not without concerns raised about the potential developer.

DewBoi Properties LLC proposed the so-called Wendelboe Hotel, an 18-room boutique hotel with a 25- to 40-seat coffee shop, according to documents presented at the meeting.

The proposed site is the former Watt Office Supplies building on Liberty Street.

Tom Christenson, the company’s owner, told the board last month that the total project cost for his initiative was between $4 million and $4.2 million, and that the rest of the funding would be borrowed.

The project only requires the former Watt or Wendelboe building but could include many of the neighboring properties the company is trying to acquire.

Tell the board that “very comfortable” With the prospects of obtaining financing, he has a “Too much of our money to add to the pile” They said the bank is waiting for the city’s decision.

Councilman Phil Gilbert said it is “Lerry on giving $1.5 million to someone we don’t really know.” he said “Afraid we are getting into something. We hardly know this guy.”

Mayor Maurice Cashman points to “Huge amount of money” developer in the project.

Gilbert said he’s afraid of “You end up in another pickle.” As it happened in the past.

City Manager Nancy Frennock said Christenson was responsible and government RDCA guidelines were leaving him. “Stand up in our shoes. I don’t expect there to be any problem. I am not a priest.”

“They are always good at first and then everything falls apart.” Gilbert suggested.

Freenock said the city and state will review everything as the project progresses before disbursing reimbursement dollars to the developer. Cashman said the temple has been put into place “The Fallout from GRO-Warren.” The fallout centered on a $500,000 government grant that was largely squandered on ineligible expenses.

“When you tie your horse to the cart…you have to be comfortable (it will be over),” Cashman said.

Council member John Wortman called Project A “great idea” And “Something the city needs” But he wondered how to repay if Gilbert’s concern came true.

“He’s in trouble for that,” Frenock said. “If he defaults, the Commonwealth may come after the city” for repayment. She said the city could then turn around and sue him for the money.

“If your LLC is in bankruptcy, that’s as much as you want it to be,” Added council member Gregory Fraser.

“He’s too far into this project,” he said. Note Cashman.

The board eventually approved the sub-donor agreement in a 6-1 vote with Gilbert the lone dissident.

Library Funds Grant

The RACP sub-donor agreement with Warren Public Library was also approved, which requested $100,000 to create space for teens in the library.

Kelly Knapp, director of the library, told the council that currently teens “Very little space in the library” who – which “He doesn’t have access to there to do much of anything.” It’s now called the study room.

The proposed teen space will be located in the basement and will include a kitchenette, computers, graphic design capability, recording and video resources.

The RACP funding that will be allocated by the state has been earmarked for economic development and the item’s needs have changed but Freenock said Senator Scott Hutchinson supports the project and that effort.

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