March 5, 2009

City supports housing authority building proposal

Center councilwoman Sandy Olin believes in the famous line from the movie "Field of Dreams," "If you build it, they will come." Also chairperson of the Housing Authority, at the March 2 meeting of the City Council, Olin proposed the city put its backing behind government bonds to finance construction of a four-plex structure in the Hazel Miner Addition. The bonds would be obtained from Security First State Bank and would act as a guarantee that the bank’s loan would be paid back by the city.

"I think it’s a shame nobody has bought any of those lots," she said prior to the meeting. "I think if we get development started with a rental property, others will start building too."

She said that the authority hasn’t reached the bidding stage yet. She compared the structure to one recently built in Beulah.

"It would be completely handicapped accessible throughout," she said. "It would be very good housing for transition people, those who want to live independently but don’t want to keep up with maintenance."

She emphasized it would be open for anyone to rent.

At the meeting Jim Goetz, chairman and CEO of Security First State Bank and a member of the Housing Authority, presented the authority’s proposal to the council. The authority would buy two lots from the city south of Main Street on the west side of the addition. The authority would also pay for the hookups.

The building would be a ranch style with apartments containing two or three bedrooms and probably two-car garages. Goetz suggested constructing an unfinished basement for each. The apartments would range in size from 1,100-1,400 square feet. Monthly rent would run from $700-900. He said that these rental properties would not be in competition with other properties in town because they are more on "high end and there is no rental property like that in town."

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