January 31, 2009
Canton Mayor seeks taxpayers to help fund a Hotel?
Posted by Michael Moore at 11:10 AM
I always thought having a vision for a small business was just a role for the private sector? I guess anything is possible anymore, according to Canton NC Mayor, Pat Smathers he is determined to realize his dream of turning a
historic house in downtown Canton into a hotel, restaurant and retail
space— and he wants taxpayers to help fund it.
From the Smoky Mountain News:
Smathers has sat on the 129-year-old building for 10 years, dabbling in
its renovation here and there, waiting for the right people and
opportunity. Finally, he has a plan in order, which includes a boutique
hotel, “unique” restaurant run by a local couple, extended stay
apartments and retail spaces. He hopes to pay for much of the project
through two grants — one for $25,000 and one for $120,000 — from the
North Carolina Rural Center. He’s also putting up $120,000 of his own
Smathers says he’s applying for the money because he needs capital; but
also because he thinks his project fits the grant’s goal of spurring
job creation. He says he can create 10 restaurant jobs, four hotel jobs
and five retail jobs — assuming he can find shopkeepers willing to
lease the retail spaces, which he hasn’t so far.
Smathers couldn’t apply for the money on his own, because it’s only
awarded to local governments. He asked Haywood County commissioners to
sign their name to the application, which they agreed to unanimously
Oh Brother, here we go again....
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