The city received a grant for $187,000 that will aid in the cost of removing blighted,vacant and abandoned homes in the city. A majority of the homes on the list are in the Parkview Heights area.
Mayor Chambers explained that the state does not want the purchased properties for demolition under this grant in the name of the city. They want a holding company that is not associated with the city. Starke County Economic Development Foundation Executive Director Charlie Weaver said the city could use the development foundation as a holding company. City Attorney David Matsey will draft a Memorandum of Understanding with the development foundation to hold those properties for three years.
Anne Mannix of Neighborhood Development Associates will provide the city with a contract that will outline her services to manage the grant. The cost of that service will be paid for through the grant.
Half of the grant needs to be spent by October of 2015 and it all needs to be spent by October 2016. The city will be eligible for another round of grant funding.