Smith-Mann Properties purchases Captains

By Carolyn Barbre

Turning the old, vacant Western Auto building into a nice downtown eatery seemed like a good idea. But Captains never really got off the ground. In about three years it has gone through four openings and been closed more than it was open.

Meanwhile the city backed the enterprise to the tune of a $250,000, a loan through its Business Assistance Program that utilizes Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which it wanted back.

The Smith family and Mark Mann, who are responsible for the existence of the successful assisted living facility, Lindsay Gardens, have decided to further invest in the city's future, with a well thought out business plan. They are accepting some significant assistance from the city.

They formed Smith-Mann Properties LLC to purchase the restaurant. The city has agreed to let them assume the original $250,000 loan along with an additional $50,000 to get everything in operational order and open for business in the next two months. The terms are $300,000 at 3 percent for 16 years with no payments for the first year and interest-only payments for the second year. The remaining principal and interest will be paid off in the remaining 14 years. Smith-Mann Properties will be investing $30,000 of their own capital (or 10 percent of the amount of the loan).

The council passed Resolution 04-06 approving the loan. Mayor Ed Murray noted that it generally takes a year to get a new business launched, and that a lot of work would be going on downtown during that year, much like China's was inconvenienced while Sweet Brier Plaza was being built.

"It's also nice to see reputable people who want to come in and make it work," the mayor added.

Mark Mann thanked the council on behalf of himself and his partners for the opportunity. "We've been blessed personally and professionally by your vision for downtown. This gives us an opportunity to take an active role in downtown," he told the council. He said they expect to attract people from the surrounding areas and would like to see the present seating capacity of 90, increased to accompany 250 including banquet facilities in the back area, formerly a clothing store then a video arcade.

The cuisine will be American and Mexican with the operation being leased by "a successful restaurateur."

Also on the agenda:

  • Resolution 04-05 passed, approving an application and contract execution for funding from the General/Native american Allocation of the State Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. Lindsay will be applying for a $500,000 grant for the First-Time Home Buyer Program. Since 1986 CDBG funding has totaled about $10.6 million, creating more than 400 jobs and assisting almost 400 households to obtain better living conditions.

  • Resolution 04-02 passed, granting city employees who wish to retire early a 90-day window in which to do so that would give an additional two years of service credit. It is part of the city's cost-cutting measures which, if used, would save the city $56,000 the first year and $156,000 every year thereafter.

  • Resolution 04-03 passed, to implement local government control measures in the extreme area ozone plan for the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District voted last December to request a downgrade in the Valley's ozone status from "severe" to "extreme." The change, if approved by the EPA, will move the compliance deadline from 2005 to 2010, and stop the EPA sanction and Federal Implementation Plan clocks from running.

    City Planner Tom Richey said the county felt it could not meet the first deadline and would incur sanctions. "TCAG asked or suggested we make these changes," he explained.

  • Resolution 04-04 passed, declaring property at 421 N. Harvard Ave. as surplus and authorizing the sale of the property through the First Time Home Buyer's Program. Construction Specialist George Lowery has established the fair market value of the home to be $60,000.

    The next city council meeting will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 10 in council chambers at Lindsay City Hall.

  • Start typing and press Enter to search