PENDLETON - The Pendleton Development Commission approved $200,000 in grants to build an elevator for second-story access on the 400 block of South Main Street.

The grants were approved for building owners Ken Schulberg and Jaime Stone. Schulberg owns the Masonic Temple Building at 403-409 S. Main St. and Stone owns the Matlock-Brownfield Building at 413-425 S. Main St.

Each owner will receive a $100,000 grant to build an elevator for the two buildings in an interior location. In a memo to the PDC, Executive Director Larry Lehman said the cost of building the elevator will exceed $200,000.

"The goal is to give the property owners as much leeway as possible to complete their renovations and additions and yet guarantee the Urban Renewal Agency the work will be completed," Lehman explained.

Creating the second-story access to the buildings stems from studies the city has been conducting. That led to the Pendleton Downtown/Riverfront Urban Renewal Agency submitting the proposal on April 20 to Schulberg and Stone. Lehman has called this project a pilot program.

The grants come with some conditions, including a Dec. 31, 2009, completion date for all work on installing the elevator and that at least one occupancy permit for each property above ground floor must be issued by the same date.

If those requirements aren't met, the Urban Renewal Agency has the right to cancel the grant award.

For purposes of procuring outside funding to finance the project, the URA will issue each owner promissory notes for $100,000.

The PDC passed this 6-1, with Commissioner Cheryl Beck voting against.

"I haven't been in favor of the second-story issue yet," Beck said afterward.

Beck explained while she would like to see second-story development, there are more pressing issues, such as repairing the city's sewer lines and upgrading infrastructure.

Beck also said she didn't favor the loose language in the proposal and would like to have seen more specifics on the project's actual cost.

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