Rockville's mayor and City Council agreed Monday to channel $10,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money to a city entrepreneur to open a laundry in a shopping center where vacancies have resulted in increased vandalism and loitering.
The council agreed to give Sonja L. Fowler block grant money to start a business, but only if owners of the Maryvale Shopping Center on Lincoln Avenue and North Horners Lane make improvements to the building and its parking lot, city spokeswoman Sue Patterson said.
The council also required that Fowler keep the business for five years and pay portions of the grant back to the city if she sells it earlier.
Fowler said the money would help her obtain a private loan that would pay the rest of the estimated $65,000 she needs for equipment and fixtures, Patterson said.
Guy Stefanelli and James Figliozzi, owners of the shopping center, told the city they would improve the parking lot, building and grounds as part of Fowler's five-year lease agreement.
City Manager Doug Horne said in a report to the council that if improvements are made, a security firm is willing to lease the remaining vacant space, and "with the center becoming active with these new businesses, many of the former problems of loitering and vandalism will be greatly reduced."
In other business, the council gave its consent for the state Roads Commission to expand traffic-jammed Rte. 28.