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April 06, 2001
^Hard-working business owners not wanted<

Posted by Alex Dominguez on Friday April 06, @07:36PM

from the Did you expect different? dept.

BALTIMORE (JNS) _ A deli-owner standing in the way of the expansion of Mercy Medical Center does not qualify for business relocation aid, city officials reportedly have decided.

Unlike the convicted heroin trafficker from Owings Mills who was given $165,000 to move his shoe store three doors down _ including $140,000 for shoes he did not want to move _ the deli owner does not have the ability to launder large amounts of cash, or spread political donations across a large operation, sources tell the Jabali News Service.

``This is exactly the kind of business we don't need. This guy hardly gets by himself,'' said one City Hall source. ``How's that kind of business going to provide the steady stream of donations that we need?''

One jewelry store owner was also given $650,000 to offset his relocation costs, even though the city was not obligated to pay anything to the business owners. Mayor Martin O'Malley has urged city officials to go out of their way to help displaced businesses, despite the fact the city is facing a budget deficit he says may require him to raise taxes, lay off 500 city workers, and cut services.

Comptroller Joan Pratt has asked the city's auditor to review the west side relocation deals.

In the case of the deli owner, city officials are proposing to use the city's power of condemnation to demolish a law office building containing the deli, and three adjacent vacant buildings. The buildings are to be demolished to make way for a new cancer center at the hospital.

``I think it's unfair. The hospital is backdooring us by going through the city to condemn us instead of talking to us face to face," Matt Vigil, a native American who has run the deli for 11 years, told The (Baltimore) Sun.

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Posted by Alex at April 06, 2001 03:36 PM
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