DUNKIRK — Council members spend Monday evening working on ways to improve the city.

Dunkirk City Council approved one downtown revitalization loan and discussed another, approved paying for work to clean up properties where houses were damaged by fire and was presented with an estimate for renovations to the city building.

Darrin and Eleathia Harding, who own Sculpt Fitness in Dunkirk, requested a downtown revitalization loan of $25,000 to help get a new business started. They plan to open Healthy Twist, a frozen yogurt shop, at 127 N. Main St.

The funds would go toward various upgrades, including flooring and a new heating and cooling system.

Council members Jesse Bivens, Bryan Jessup, Tom Johnson, Kevin Hamilton and Christy Curts approved a $25,000, five-year loan at no interest as long as payments are made regularly and on time.

“This is kind of a no-brainer,” said Jessup. “This is the whole purpose of having this money to begin with.”

Dunkirk Mayor Jack Robbins noted that The Pink Barn owned by Kayci Zimmerman is seeking a loan with the same terms for freezers, shelving, a room addition and other upgrades. City attorney Wes Schemenaur will review the request and return with a contract for council to take action on at its next meeting.

Council also discussed the clean up of properties at 207 Broad Street, 506 S. Main St. and 115 W. Jay St. after they were damaged by fire.

Robbins noted that additional properties will be cleaned up on Palace and Indiana streets.

It approved paying up to $65,000 for the clean-up effort. (Robbins had estimated it would cost $50,000 for the five properties but said Monday with increasing costs it may exceed that amount.)

There was also discussion about whether the city would be paid back for the costs it incurred to remove debris from those sites. Schemenaur explained that property owners are billed and a tax lien placed on the properties. Answering a question from clerk-treasurer Tina Elliott, he confirmed that the city has the option to file lawsuits in order to attempt to recoup the funds. Johnson suggested that the city could also pursue agreements with property owners to turn over the deeds to the city, which could then sell the lots.