Mundelein restaurant gets village grant
A Mundelein restaurant is the latest recipient of a village grant program designed to help local businesses improve their properties.
The village board on Monday unanimously approved a $3,490 grant for the owners of Park Street Restaurant, 14 E. Park St.
The money will help pay for two new awnings outside the restaurant. Owners Paul Arroyo and Nora Bellido Arroyo also applied for a grant to help pay for a new exterior sign, but that request was rejected because it didn't qualify for the program, according to village documents.
The money will come from Mundelein's Business Incentive Grant program.
Instead of getting money up front, recipients are reimbursed for up to half their expenses, with funding capped at $55,000 per recipient.
Since the program began in 2014, Mundelein officials have awarded 27 grants totaling more than $296,000.
Recipients have included the Lakeside Recreation Center, Greg's Frozen Custard, Luke's of Mundelein and Tina G's.
This fiscal year alone, the village board has approved 10 grants totaling more than $95,500.
The grant program has a $100,000 annual budget.
The Arroyos purchased the Park Street Restaurant from an investment group in November. The restaurant opened in 2001.
Although all the village board members supported the grant, Trustee Bill Rekus questioned whether grants should be given to new business owners who want to replace awnings or signs, saying it could lead to repeated grants for the same site if a business repeatedly changes hands.
"So in the course of three or four years, we may be giving funds to a location three or four times because it's changed hands three or four times?" Rekus asked.
Village Administrator John Lobaito said that hasn't been a problem.
Trustee Robin Meier said new business owners shouldn't be disqualified from the grant program simply because they've taken over existing operations.