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Friday, May 6, 2016

Tentative timeline set for NSP homes

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A tentative timeline has been set for the demolition and construction of homes included in the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).

During Wednesday's meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil, Planning Administrator Stacy Gibbens provided an update on how the process is going.

"Everything is running pretty smoothly right now, and if everything continues to go on the current schedule, new construction could begin as early as June 1," she said.

Gibbens also informed the council the following dates have been tentatively set for the bid process for the demolition and construction:

* March 15 -- Request bids for demolition,

* March 31 -- Open demolition bids,

* April 2 -- Request bids for new construction,

* April 14 -- Present demolition bids for council approval,

* April 26 -- Conduct informational meeting for interested construction companies,

* May 3 -- Open new construction bids, and

* May 11 -- Present new construction bids for council approval.

"We are also planning to make bids on two additional properties that are included in the Commissioners' Certificate Sale on April 7," Gibbens said.

Meanwhile, the council approved two resolutions authorizing the purchase of two separate properties for the NSP and to temporarily transfer $55,000 from the General Fund to the NSP Fund for the purchases.

"The transfer is just a way of getting things going because the NSP Grant is not just for blighted homes, but also to get foreclosed homes back in the hands of responsible homeowners," Gibbens told the council. "The grant will reimburse the funds spent about 7-10 days after the purchase of the properties are closed."

Karen McQueen
Clerk-Treasurer Karen McQueen said the NSP Fund would eventually build up as homes are sold, meaning the city would be able to transfer the funds back to the General Fund.

"We also had an option to take out a loan for the purchases, but in that case it would not be reimbursed, plus the city would have had to pay interest," McQueen said. "The NSP is very strict and everything has to be documented multiple times to ensure it all is used the way it is supposed to be."

The council also unanimously approved amendments for both a resolution and ordinance regarding the annexation of parcels into the corporate limits of the city.

Within both documents, the parcels including PDF, Inc., were removed from annexation due, in part, to the expense of providing necessary services to the area.

"We went back to look at the numbers again and figured it would cost the city about $40,000 to put in the services and utilities," Mayor Ann Bradshaw told The Brazil Times after the meeting. "Right now, we don't have the funding, resources or manpower to be able to do that, so we had to remove those parcels from annexation."

In other business during Wednesday's meeting, the Common Council of the City of Brazil:

* Approved the nomination of Gibbens to the Clay County Economic Development Commission for a four-year term, and

* Conducted a discussion about snow removal from city sidewalks. During the audience comments portion of the meeting, resident Gary Rickert suggested it should be the city's responsibility to remove the snow from sidewalks, which he believed would help promote business.

"You should all be accountable for what your actions are," Rickert, who also complained about filling asphalt potholes with rock and gravel, said.

Steve Lamb
After the council reviewed a city ordinance (Chapter 153.15 of the Brazil Code of Ordinances), which stated it is the homeowner or businesses responsibility to remove snow from the sidewalks on their respective property, Council President Steve Lamb suggested allowing handicapped and elderly residents in the city to request assistance in snow removal.

To request the city's help in removing snow from the sidewalk, contact Brazil City Hall at 443-2221 during normal business hours (8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday-Friday).

The next meeting of the Common Council of the City of Brazil will be 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 10, in the Council Chambers of City Hall.

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