Letter: Clarifying loans, work done for The 318

I would like to clarify some of Gary McPheron’s comments in The Lima News (“Middle finger to Lima workers,” Oct. 20).

Mr. McPheron needs to get his facts straight before he starts assuming and writing false and misleading comments. Sam McLean and I had already finished the 318 Restaurant & Bar project when the port authority lady told us that we could apply for a loan to help us with hiring employees and stocking our business. The reason we qualified was because of all the energy-saving improvements we made to the building.

We accepted the loan but found out later that the contractors that we had given the contracts to — Fairfield Quality Construction, R.A. Flynn & Son, Gast Plumbing and Heating, High’s Electric, among others — although they pay their employees very well did not meet the criteria established by the port authority.

When we found this out, we did not pursue the loan through the port authority but went through a local bank. The port authority loan is exactly that, a loan, that has to be repaid with interest. Sam and I used local businesses and contractors for all the work at 318. We used more minority-owned businesses than probably any other business in Lima.

For Mr. McPheron to make such false and misleading statements without getting his facts vetted is a disservice to people in Lima who want to invest their time, talents and money to help Lima grow. It’s ridiculous.

Sam McLean is a fine man, a great leader and a valuable resource for the city of Lima.

Ray Magnus



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