EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – The East Liverpool Community Improvement Corp. ended legal proceedings against a Boardman businessman who failed to repay a $40,000 loan he obtained from the agency in September.
Payments have now started, officials said.
CIC had voted in March to sue Shaun DaVill, owner of DaVill Enterprises, which operates nitrogen-enriched ice cream and cafes in Boardman and Salem and planned to start similar operations in the small downtown building.
The lawsuit stemmed from a report to the board’s finance committee by CIC’s chief executive, Bill Cowan, that while he was granted the loan for start-up and equipment costs, DaVill had failed to start his business as planned and make his first loan payment in October or no payment since.
Email communications between Cowan and DaVill and a collection letter sent by the city’s chief legal officer, Charles Payne, were unsuccessful, Cowan told the CIC committee and the full board, who ultimately decided to take legal action.
When contacted by the Business Journal following the action, DaVill said he was unaware the problem had come to this point, saying he was waiting for the renovation of the small building to be completed and that he had “every intention” of moving forward with his plans to start a cafe and ice cream shop in two separate storefronts.
DaVill indicated at that time that he would call Cowan to clarify the matter.
Cowan recently confirmed that DaVill stopped by his office, repaid half of the $40,000 and arranged to split the remaining amount into monthly payments.
This prompted Cowan to ask Payne to stop the lawsuits, which he said the legal director had agreed to “go ahead and see how it goes.” Cowan said no board action is required at this time.
Cowan pointed out that DaVill was required to invest the remaining funding in some type of project in the city, not just repay the loan, and said the businessman had expressed his intention to do so, although he stated that DaVill had indicated that he could consult another site instead of the Small Building.
In the previous article, the owner of the building, Amy Faulk, said that if DaVill decided not to locate her stores in the building, she had a waiting list of others interested in these storefronts, saying that it was a “fabulous building”.
Faulk purchased the historic structure last May. It has since undergone renovations but suffered damage over the winter when a water main froze and broke, delaying its plans to occupy the building by March.
Faulk said tenants were lining up for all the lower floors.
DaVill did not return a message seeking comment for this article.
PPictured: The small building in East Liverpool city centre.
Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.