February 4, 2015

HCD convenes for annual meeting


Hazen Community Development held its annual meeting last week at city hall and, as these things go, a dizzying array of numbers were tossed around as HCD Director Buster Langowski gave guests an overview of what’s happening in the world of economic development in Hazen.
In summary, 2014 produced $15,702 in HCD membership fees and $39,948 in rent from the Commerce Center. In sum total, HCD generated $206, 078 in income and spent $206,450 on expenses for a net income of -$371.
On the bright side, HCD had $195,155 in outstanding loans but was able to renegotiate the loans, which resulted in a drop of the interest rate from six percent to 4.75 percent and a drop in the debt to $191,207. The annual payment dropped from $32,000 to $25,000, and HCD realized interest savings of $2,400.
The Pioneer Park project to renovate the building into low-income housing for senior citizens is moving forward slowly, although the project will be hanging in the balance until the end of February.
As proposed, the development would include 10 single units and two efficiency units. HCD purchased the property for $34,000.
“We were really pleased with that price,” Langowski said. “The previous owners worked with us to stay within what we thought was a fair price.
“They also recognized the fact that it could turn into a nice piece of property for the city if we can pull off everything we hope will become of it.”
Financing of the project will have to wait until the end of February, when the North Dakota legislature is expected to make a decision on the state Housing Fund Incentive. Currently, there is $50 million in the budget, but legislators are seeking an increase to $100 million.

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