Although three members of Thomson City Council admit they are not opposed to the overall concept of a subdivision being built in Thomson, they expressed opposition in a 3-1 vote to endorsing the project for certain benefits the developer might receive. The vote came during a council meeting earlier this month.
"We're looking for permanent home ownership in Thomson," Mayor Usry said. "That's what we've been pushing for a while, now."
Now a local developer is speaking out.
Brink Bradshaw, owner of Bradshaw Land and Realty, since has submitted statements to the newspaper about the council's decision.
"First of all, the families and citizens of Thomson need these 64 new quality-built homes," Mr. Bradshaw said. "The new subdivision of single-family homes will provide additional homes and or replacement homes for inferior housing in Thomson."
Mr. Bradshaw believes the residents of the community "will benefit in multiple ways" by the addition to local home inventory for people to live.
He pointed out that $6 million would be added to the tax rolls "and the immediate boost to resolve our high unemployed workforce of the local construction industry and building material suppliers."
Mr. Bradshaw said the position that the city is taking is that they don't want renters "and does not appreciate the contribution of the 40 percent of the city's population who are renters. It is hard to fathom."
He believes it is important for everyone to work together for quality, safe and affordable housing, regardless if the homes are owned or rented.
"Let us all join together to make better homes for families in the City of Thomson," Mr. Bradshaw added.
Mayor Usry said the developer wants to build more than 50 single-family units on 29.7 acres of property inside the city limits.
"These are low-income tax housing units," Mayor Usry said, noting that the city did not turn the project down.
The mayor went on to say that the city is in the middle of a housing initiative.
"Our goal is to improve home ownership," Mayor Usry said.
"We're fighting a battle I hope we can win."
The mayor said rent subsidy is not the direction city officials want to travel.
City Administrator Don Powers said funding for these types of low-income housing units "is very competitive."
Mayor Pro Tem Alton Belton said he would like to see the project plans.