Greensboro city leaders deny Black Network Television loan

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A television sitcom that is currently being filmed in Greensboro hit a snag with some city leaders on Wednesday.

In a vote 6-3 Tuesday, Greensboro City Council members decided not to approve a $300,000 loan for the sitcom "Whatcha Cooking" produced by The Black Network Television.

City leaders approved the loan last month, but questions about  the owners Michael and Ramona Woods' finances became a concern.

Greensboro City Attorney S. Mujeeb Shah-Khan sent a letter to Mayor Robbie Perkins and other members of the council saying financial records showed the couple had a home equity line of trust,  which was not disclosed during the orignal request for the loan.

Financial records show the Woods' first mortgage is $280,000 and the home equity line, which is the second lien on their property, is close to $300,000.

The city of Greensboro would have been third in line for repayment. The Woods put $800,000 of their own money and their home up for collateral for this project.

Mayor Perkins says the position of repayment would not have put the city at risk. Perkins believes the Woods would have honored the terms of the agreement with the city.

"They have to wonder whether the city is really in the game with them. What's the message we're sending to local entrepreneurs," Perkins said.

Council Member Nancy Hoffman who voted against the loan said the city did the right thing, but questions if the city should get into the television production business.

"I couldn't get a good feeling for the number of jobs that were going to be created. I asked that four weeks ago, when we had the public discussion. I don't feel like we got an answer," Hoffman said.

The network has filmed 8 episodes so far.

Mayor Perkins says the network is in the process of looking for another funding source.

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