Cincinnati City Council voted 6-3 to approve nearly a million dollars loan and grant combination to the owner of Mahogany's, a restaurant that plans to open on The Banks.
The upscale soul food eatery would be the first minority-owned business to open in the city's new entertainment district between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park.
Cincinnati is providing nearly $1 million to owner Liz Rogers despite a history of delinquent tax payments at her existing restaurant in Hamilton.
Council members Chris Seelbach, Chris Smitherman and Roxanne Qualls opposed the decision.
"Anytime there are allegations of not paying taxes, of not fulfilling obligations to government, I think you have to be skeptical," said Seelbach after the vote. "If there had been more time to ask those questions and get the thoughtful answers, perhaps I would have voted for this. But this was rushed."
Cecil Thomas voted to approve the money.
"All of what has been spoken about is nothing new to the administration," he said. "They looked at can they come up with the amount of security for the loan, which was $300,000. They put up enough collateral, and all the other things were just rumors."
In a letter released on Tuesday, Cincinnati City Administrator Milton Dohoney said he believes the deals important to allow a "mix of offerings that attracted a wide range of tastes."
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