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Two downtown businesses to split city grant funds
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A new art studio and an existing event venue in downtown Dawsonville are set to split $7,500 in grant funding from the city of Dawsonville.

Outside the Lines Art Studio and The Taylor House will each receive $3,750 to be used toward improvements to their facilities, following a vote Monday night by the Dawsonville Downtown Development Authority, which administers the grants for the city.

Mary Herr, who plans to open the new art studio on Jack Heard Road with her daughter-in-law Terri Herr in July, said the funds are greatly appreciated.

"We're so very thankful. All the renovations inside and out have come out of our pockets and this is going to help a lot," she said. "I want to thank everyone that's supported us, especially those in the development authority that voted to approve our application."

The art center will offer classes, camps and a variety of creative parties, such as paint-your-own-pottery and ladies night out events.

Mayor James Grogan, who attended Monday night's meeting, said the grant funds were initially budgeted as incentives for new businesses wishing to open and create jobs in downtown Dawsonville.

He welcomed Outside the Lines, which will be staffed by four to six full time employees with a pay rate from $8 to $10 per hour, to the community.

Peggy O'Neill, owner of the Taylor House, said she's excited to receive the funds that will go toward the construction of a large pavilion for the Academy Avenue events facility.

"It's going to give us the opportunity to have an outdoor area that has a shelter. It's a rather large pavilion that will hold at least 100 people," she said.

There is a stipulation that The Taylor House, which had applied in hopes of receiving the full $7,500, can only use the funding to build the pavilion.

If the pavilion, which is expected to cost $15,000-16,000, is not built, the funds must be returned to the city and will be awarded to Outside the Lines Art Studio, according to the motion.

No timeline was given for the completion of the pavilion. However, any improvements to the Taylor House would need approval from the Historic Preservation Committee, which meets Monday.