City Looks to Help Habitat for Humanity

Gary GainesMayor Goodlett, City Clerk Robbie Hume, Public Works Chairman Bobby DurrGary Gaines, Betty Melloan, Donna Herrick, Robert Chrisman

The City of Lawrenceburg and the Anderson County Habitat for Humanity are in the process of working together to help build more homes for those in need.  There was a public works committee meeting today to discuss the possibility of lowering or removing liens on a piece of property at 131 Bell Street so it could be used to build a Habitat home.

According to Gary Gaines, the finance director at the local Habitat chapter, the organization has been working to build low cost homes for those in need in the county for 20 years.  They have been successful and have built a number of homes through that time.

After completing their last home on Center Street, the organization has been looking diligently for a new piece of property that would fit the financial requirements for a Habitat home.  Unfortunately, according to Gary, there are few properties currently on the market that would work, except for the property at 131 Bell Street where the current owners are willing to donate to the cause.

However, the city currently has over $9500 in liens on the property for work that was done to clean up the property in 2012 and 2013 where outbuildings that were in poor structural shape were demolished.  The total cost of the demolition and clean up amounted to over $6400, with the rest of the lien coming from accumulated interest over the years.

The Anderson County Habitat for Humanity asked for assistance with either possibly lowering or removing the lien or in help with splitting the property in two so they could build two houses to spread the costs.  Mayor Goodlett and the council members present were favorable in possibly reducing the lien, particularly the accumulated interest but were concerned with recouping taxpayers’ dollars for the actual costs of the work done.  “We’re going to do something,” he said.

The splitting the property strategy, however, would also face challenges.  According to city code enforcer, Tom Bond, the property currently doesn’t have enough width to meet the spacing requirements for two homes but is only shy by a few feet.  A request would have to go through the zoning board to see whether a variance would be possible to allow the split.

The city and the Anderson County Habitat for Humanity will be continuing to see which will work best.  However, according to Donna Herrick, Habitat is now accepting applications for the 2017 partner home as well as looking to fill a home.  Applications are available at Century Bank.

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Posted in Business & Government, Family & Community.

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