“It may be put off for a while, but I believe we’ll eventually get it,” said Mayor Lyn Bailey at last week’s city council meeting.
Diane Light, the city’s consultant on the project, is anxious, but similarly optimistic. Though she’s working independently on this project, she has 22 years experience in consulting, working largely out of Paducah.
“Our record is great,” she said. “We’ve never done a project that hasn’t been funded.”
However, Light said, “You’re always nervous about it.”
Light’s anxiety is understandable — there is, after all, one million dollars up for grabs. Already approved by the Kentucky Community Development Office, the application is currently awaiting approval from Governor Ernie Fletcher’s office.
If and when the grant is approved, Light said construction could begin within three months and could be completed in about a year.
Light solicited homeowners who might be interested in utilizing the grant last summer. Thirteen — “based on the greatest need,” Light said — were selected for the project, with two on a waiting list should any homeowner withdraw.
One deteriorated structure, occupied by two disabled persons, is to be made handicap-accessible. The home was built in 1993 through the Pennyrile Area Development District, but was not made handicap accessible at the time.
Twelve additional structures, occupied by 13 families, are to be “cleared” and replaced on their existing sites. The affected properties are located on Martindale, Jefferson, Thomas, Brown, Perry, Lafayette, Second, Anna, and Hayden Streets, in addition to one on Powerline Drive.
According to a project summary submitted as part of the grant, the 13-affected households “are all occupied by persons of low-to-moderate income.”
Of the 28 people who comprise these households, nearly a third earn “less than 30 percent of (the) area-wide median income,” according to the submitted grant.
Six of the 13 households are elderly occupied, 92 percent are headed by either an elderly person or a female and 61 percent are minority households.
As mentioned in the project summary, one building set for demolition is owned and occupied by a city employee (in addition to his wife and three children), and “will be addressed after having met all conflict of interest requirements.”
For more on this, read this week's Cadiz Record.