November 4, 2014

Council okays funding for housing study

By Chris Erickson
Housing in Beulah has been on more and more agendas in recent months, and that was no different at this week’s city council meeting. During Monday night’s discussion, the council spoke about the possibility of a housing study and if it would help address needs the city was facing.
Mayor Darrell Bjerke brought up the subject of housing, noting the Mercer County Economic Development board had recently met with industry representatives on the subject.
“There was an informal housing summary that indicated a very serious shortage of housing for Beulah, whether that be multi-family rental property or single family home,” he said. “At the last MCED meeting it was decided that if we could get the proper financing behind it, MCED would go forward with a housing study by the group Tetra Tech, who comes well recommended. I understand that Basin Electric and Roughrider Electric to help underwrite that cost. MCED has also asked other entities in the county to participate in the cost.”
Bjerke said the total cost would come out to just over $67,000, and Beulah’s share would be $10,000.
Economic Development Director John Phillips stated that Basin Electric had worked previously with Tetra Tech on housing studies. Bjerke suggested the funding come out of the sales tax reserve fund, that although it wasn’t specifically infrastructure it lent itself to that end.
Councilor Kathy Kelsch said that if the city did decide to move forward with a proposed plan to develop the Tumbleweed Addition, a housing study could provide more details to help that along. She motioned to approved the $10,000 for the study and was seconded by Councilor Kirby Morgenstern. The motion was unanimously approved.
 


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