On Tuesday, the Common Council of the City of Brazil approved the application for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP), which is requesting funds to rehabilitate homes in Brazil located west of Depot Street, between United States 40 (National Aveneue) and Hendrix Street.
Angie Pappano, vice president for Kenna Consulting and Management Group, Inc., Indianapolis, said there is no guarantee the city will receive any grant money because many other areas are also competing for funding.
"We are requesting $2,870,700 in NSP funds, and another $736,500 through reapplying for the Homeowner Improvement Grant we did not receive earlier this year," Pappano said. "We have a good case for the need of the funds, but this one is very competitive and we just have to keep our fingers crossed."
Pappano said if the Homeowner Improvement Grant is received, it would go toward the rehabilitation of approximately 25 homes in the same area.
She added if the city does receive the NSP grant, plans are in place on what the initial funds will go toward, including:
* Rehabilitating 12 homes in good condition for resale,
* Demolish three "uninhabitable" homes and rebuild on the same lots,
* Acquire vacant land leftover from the Commissioners' Certificate Sale, hoping to build five new rental homes, two for home ownership and four duplexes, and
* Purchase another 14 vacant lots from the certificate sale for potential development in the future.
City Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens reminded the council that any funds created from the sale of a rehabilitated/rebuilt home will go back to help another home in the specified area.
"Should we receive grant funding, things look promising because we have already been approached by contractors inquiring about the potential work," Gibbens said.
The council also heard a pair of rezoning requests, which ended in different outcomes.
Dan Sanders, of MACO Companies, informed the council about his attempt to gain federal funding to rehabilitate and renovate the Lamplight Manor Apartments, 650 E. Pinckley St. His request was to rezone the area from single-family residences (R-1) to multi-family (R-3).
"My company is requesting $600,000 in funding, which would be used strictly for the renovation and no new apartments would be added," Sanders said. "We want to make sure it is brought up to compliance with ADA standards and the rezoning would help our proposal to receive funding."
The Brazil Board of Zoning Appeals met earlier in the evening and voted unanimously for a positive recommendation. The council agreed with the board's assessment and also voted unanimously to approve the rezoning on the first reading.
In the other request, homeowner Danny Dillman, 111 N. Franklin St., proposed rezoning his garage from R-1 to Local Business.
Dillman told the council Mark Moody has been conducting a light mechanical work business out of his garage since September 2008 and the Board of Zoning Appeals tied 4-4 in its vote on whether to give a positive recommendation on the matter.
Dillman said the zoning would be with restrictions, including it would be limited to no more than three years and any hazardous materials, like oil, must be contained within the garage.
"There would be no painting or engine rebuilding," Dillman said. "Our goal for the business would be that no cars would stay overnight."
Moody said he contains the oil and other fluids in 30-gallon drums within the garage and much of his business consists of going to residences and assisting with repairs.
As part of the rezoning request, neighboring properties must be notified. In this request, the Brazil Public Library and the United Methodist Church objected to the rezoning in writing.
To provide an opportunity to see the area up close, the council voted to table the issue until its special meeting, which is set for Thursday, March 19, at 6 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.
In other business, the council also tabled issues regarding cemetery bids, a potential limb pick up ordinance and the possibility of increasing the price for grave digging until a later date.
The next regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be Tuesday, April 12, at 7 p.m., in the Council Chambers of City Hall.