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County has $100,000 to put toward 2013-14 projects

Published 9:33am Friday, June 21, 2013

The county now has $100,000 in freed-up funding from Community Development Block Grants now that a senior citizen housing project has failed to get its funding to go-ahead at the present time.

“We were just below the line,” Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said.

The CAO was seeking federal housing credits for the $8 million project.

“They only funded two,” Kline said.

Plans are to build a complex with 40 to 50 units in what developers are calling affordable senior housing. It is to be in partnership with Pirhl Developers from Cleveland and the CAO and to be located across from the Fairland East Elementary School.

However, since tax credits were not available at this time, that means the $100,000 commitment from the commission to extend the sewer line at the housing site will go toward other county projects. Vying for that money are at least two projects — road paving by the county engineer’s office and the Fayette Township Trustees efforts to bring water lines to the residents of Macedonia Road hill.

Developers plan to apply again for the housing credits and a Federal Home Loan.

“I think the way the project was viewed and rated we should be in a pretty good position to reapply for tax credits and do groundwork for federal home loan,” Kline said.

At its Thursday meeting the commission also approved applying for $900,000 in booster CDBG grants to fund street improvements in the city of Ironton, paving in Decatur Township and street improvements and blighted housing removal in Chesapeake from Symmes Creek Bridge to Bradrick.

In other action the commission:

• Requested that the Tri-State Airport Authority accept the county as a voting member of the Huntington-based authority;

• Filed correspondence from the county engineer denying the establishment of Private Drive 123 as a township road as it does not meet minimum requirements;

• Approved an additional change order for building a roadway in The Point industrial park for $8,610.

  • Poor Richard

    So, let me see if I got this straight, the property owned by a county commissioner and one other person that was set to develop senior housing applied for block grant monies to construct the senior housing and the money was not coming from the developer as implied in past newspaper articles?

    Basically, the developer, the landowners, and the CAO would reap the benefits for not spending a single cent of their own money to construct senior housing — did I get that correct?? And the County Commissioners are going along with this?

    I want to know what monies the developer, the CAO, and the county commissioner landowner would be receiving if and when this project eventually gets funded? Since these are public dollars being used, the public is privy to that information – Sunshine Law 101.

    There were also no assurances that I can tell that any senior housing would be specific to Ohio residents. I know the low income housing in the Ironton area has been allowing non-Ohio residents in whether the CAO knows it or not since I know of several.

    As a citizen of Lawrence County, I will NOT support the use of any funds (federal, state or local) that would fund projects that benefit those from other states – including transportation projects. If the CAO cannot conduct appropriate screening procedures, maybe oversight of low income housing needs to be given to another organization that is capable.

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