Plans to bring a bowling alley facility to Belfast are still moving forward despite some unexpected delays due to the federal government shutdown in October.

Don and Kelly Benson, who own and operate ALLPLaY Family Entertainment Center in Waldoboro, approached the city in late July in regards to purchasing the former Jed's Restaurant on Route 1 to convert it into a bowling facility.

The building would be comparable to their facility in Waldoboro with candlepin bowling lanes, a video arcade, pool tables, snack bar and entertainment rooms. The Benson's were hoping to close on the building by the beginning of September in order to have enough time to renovate the building and have some of the facilities open and available to the public by January 2014.

However, Kelly told The Republican Journal on Monday, Nov. 25, that the couple's plans were delayed due to the federal government shutdown in October. Kelly said she and Don were applying for a $610,000 loan to pay for the new bowling facility in Belfast.

Kelly explained that the Small Business Administration is the guarantor of the loan for the project. Because of the government shutdown, the SBA was unable to process the necessary paperwork to get the loan approved during the shutdown.

She said the couple was recently notified that the loan was approved and their plans to renovate the former restaurant building can continue to move forward. At this time, the couple are waiting on an appraisal to be completed on the property before a closing can take place.

Kelly said she anticipates she and Don and will be able to close on the property by the end of December. Once that occurs, renovations can begin, with the first task being to gut the interior of the building, she said.

How quickly the renovations are completed will depend on the severity of the weather this winter, as well as if the couple encounter any other unexpected delays. Kelly noted she and Don already have their contractor, plumbers and electricians ready to go to work once the closing is completed on the building.

Kelly said the new bowling facility will potentially be open by late March or early April 2014.