ELYRIA — City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a downtown facade improvement program that will reimburse business or building owners up to $10,000 for fixing up the fronts of their shops or buildings.
A total of $100,000 in economic development funds budgeted from Issue 6 collections will get the program started, Mayor Holly Brinda said previously. Business and building owners may apply to have up to 50 percent of a project’s cost, up to $10,000, reimbursed through the program.
Prior to the vote, Elyria resident Larry Klipstein urged City Council to approve the program, saying it was “worth every penny” to make the city look better.
Exterior work permitted for reimbursement under the program includes painting, trim, brick pointing, cornices, new doors and windows, awnings and canopies, signage and lighting.
Council also unanimously approved changes to the structure of more than 50 supervisory positions in city government, eliminating longevity pay and changing the “step” structure of some non-union employees.
Changes to salary structure included in a one-year, $41,000 study by Gallagher Benefit Services are expected to save the city nearly $52,000 over the next five years, Council previously learned. Gallagher compared Elyria’s salary schedule with nine Ohio cities and four counties that responded to a survey.
The changes bring the city closer to the 50th percentile for pay, Brinda said Tuesday. City leaders hope this will help retain employees in certified positions for which the city competes with private enterprise, such as engineering staff, building officials and the still-unfilled position of economic development director.
In other business, Council heard the first reading of an ordinance granting AFS Cultivation and SH Realty Holdings Ohio a conditional use permit for their planned medical marijuana dispensary at 603 Cleveland St., one of two such businesses in the city.
Council scheduled a public hearing on the matter for March 18 in its chambers, 131 Court St. The company is planning to spend up to $1.5 million to turn a former music store into a 3,600-square-foot dispensary, Elyria’s second, and employing up to 25 people.
Medical marijuana sales began last month at a limited number of locations in Ohio. The Clubhouse, Elyria’s first medical marijuana dispensary, opens at 10 a.m. Friday at 709 Sugar Lane.