The Pembroke City Council met Tuesday evening for a called meeting to discuss time-sensitive issues, including a housing development grant and SPLOST funds.
The council approved several motions regarding the city’s application for a Community Home Investment Program (CHIP) Grant, an infill development project planned for Camellia Drive.
Councilman Tiffany Walraven explained the project would involve the acquisition of 1 acre of property for the purpose of building four new single family homes. The homes would range from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet and have three to four bedrooms.
The entire project is contingent on receiving funding and would not involve tax dollars, she said.
Once completed, the homes will be sold at fair market value. Any funds exceeding the expenses covered by the grant gained in sales would then be reinvested by the city into a future housing project.
“This all part of Georgia Initiative for Community Housing, our GICH program, that we’ve been working on since 2013, on rehabilitation of housing and basically investing in housing in the city,” Walraven explained. “There’s not a lot of housing for young people to come back to here. If we don’t have housing available, we’re not going to attract families back to the city. We’re going to lose them to the county or adjacent cities and counties – it’s just not available.
“This will help us try to stimulate development in the city.”
The council approved the following actions related to the CHIP Grant:
• A $250 application fee due by Dec. 1
• Partnering with JC Vision and Associates for the grant writing process at a cost of $18 per hour, up to a total of $960
• Giving the mayor permission to enter into a contract on behalf of the city with the landowner for an option to purchase the 1-acre property in the spring of 2018, contingent on receipt of the grant
• Entering into a contract with Home Development Resources for the administration of the CHIP Grant, pending award of the project
• A statement of matching funds to include $10,000 in-kind for personnel wages and the waiver of connection and tap fees for both water and sewer for each of the four proposed houses, totaling $19,600 in waived fees.
Also at the meeting, the council approved the use of special purpose local option sales tax, or SPLOST, funds in the amount of $486,590 for the purchase of two fire trucks. The purchase had already been approved, but the SPLOST funds were previously earmarked for the Public Safety Complex.
In other business, the council met Nov. 22 to confirm Pembroke’s continuation with the Urban Redevelopment Plan, which allows for federal funding to improve buildings and property within the city limits that are deteriorated or dilapidated to the point of being detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.
The Urban Redevelopment Act can be used alone or in combination with other redevelopment tools put in place by the state of Georgia to support local comprehensive planning, revitalize struggling commercial corridors, improve small business environment and rehabilitate older homes and neighborhoods.