Restaurant loan brings Manchester Development Corporation policies under review
The MDC furnished a copy of its bylaws and history to the Office of the City Clerk Monday, in response to concerns raised during the debate last week over a $35,100 loan to a downtown restaurant. The MDC board had approved the loan, as did the aldermen after a tense debate.
During the debate, MDC vice-chairman Sean Owen defended the loan to XO on Elm, arguing it was carefully vetted, and he stated that such loans were brought before the aldermen only “as a courtesy.”
In 1985, “Mayor Robert Shaw proposed using this $1 million as the basis for a new approach to Manchester’s economic development program that would eliminate some existing overlap and provide more flexibility,” according to a history provided by the MDC.
This office was dissolved earlier this year and shifted over to the mayor’s office.
An internal string of e-mails among MDC board members obtained by the Union Leader indicated that the underwriter considered the request a “risk” and the restaurant in a “precarious situation.”The two aldermanic representatives on the MDC weren’t copied in these communications. Alderman-At-Large Dan O’Neil, who requested the documentation concerning the MDC’s bylaws and history, said he wants there to be a more thorough process for approving MDC loans in the future, “so this does not happen again.”
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