Downtown rental housing project seeks $300,000 development grant
Rebecca Pierce, Editor, reports housing in downtown Hastings should be ready for renters in a few months, developer Marvin Helder said during the city council meeting Monday.
“My hope is, by fall, we will have units ready to rent to help solve some of the problems with housing in downtown Hastings,” Helder said at a public hearing for a proposed Community Block Development Grant application through the Michigan Economic Development Council.
The city is proposing to use $300,000 in CDBG funds to construct five apartments, valued at $60,000 each, according to Community Development Director Dan King.
At least 51 percent of the project at 118 Court St. is intended to benefit low- to moderate-income residents, and will have rent restrictions as dictated by federal Housing and Urban Development regulations.
The owner of the building will be required to contribute a minimum of 25 percent of the total project costs toward construction, according to the requirements. Also, no one will be displaced as a result of the proposed activities.
City officials noted that Hastings has had prior funding for three rental rehabilitation projects. Each program was deemed successful, and provided the community with a total of 19 apartments in the downtown.
King told the council that, as part of the MEDC requirements, the city will be required to have two public hearings – the first of which occurred Monday prior to the grant application.
Helder said he hopes this project will provide housing for people who hold entry-level jobs. “And hopefully, we’ll be funded in a month.”
In other action, the council approved:
• Spending $6,501 for repair of cemetery foundations at Riverside Cemetery by Wickham Cemetery Services.
• Amending the budget to commit $100,000 to the library special revenue fund to help pay for the replacement of more than 200 of the 343 window panes in the library. The company that manufactured the windows went out of business; the silver coating is tarnishing and is not repairable. The intention is to set money aside every year for the project.
• A parking agreement with Bolthouse Merchandising Corp. to allow event parking in the northeast corner of the parking lot at the southwest corner of East State Street and South Boltwood Street and owned by BMC.
• Appointing Verne Robins as operator of the water treatment plant and have George Holzworth remain as licensed operator of the wastewater treatment.
• Spending $18,700 for the poly-ortho phosphate supply for the water treatment plant and $27,000 for polymer and $60,000 for alum and $8,250 for sodium permanganate for the wastewater treatment plant. All are for the 2019-20 fiscal year.