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City council OKs plan for low-income housing development

The single-family homes that might spring up from the city's northeast side are of a quality that would fit any part of the city, a housing official said Thursday.

Kelly Evans, the executive director of the Thomson Housing Authority, spoke before the city council endorsed an application for a 37-unit housing development. She said the housing is not "cookie-cutter homes."

Bridgeland Development LLC, has applied to the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for federal and state housing tax credits to assist in the financing of the rental housing on the 32 acres east of Mendel Avenue beginning just south of Cobbham Road.

Evans spoke after Gary Hammond, the president of Bridgeland Development, addressed the council.

Hammond had appeared before the council in October, seeking backing for 54 units in Thomson Estates, on the land to be purchased from the Corbitt family.

Between visits, the number of units was reduced. "He's trying to meet us in the middle on this," Mayor Kenneth Usry said.

"We're very excited about this partnership," Evans said. "My board has asked a lot of good questions."

She said it's a good fit for the neighborhood. "I think it benefits all of our properties," Evans said.

Hammond said 15 percent of the homes would be available to families at or below 50 percent of the median income, meaning incomes as low at $20,000 could secure rent as low as $450 a month. The remaining 85 percent would be for families at or below 60 percent of the median income. Families earning from $23,000 to $40,000 a year would pay from $450 to $670 a month in rent.

Hammond said the state agency might act on the application as early as November, and the contract could close by May 2012.

The motion passed unanimously. Councilman John Smalley was not present at that part of the meeting.

Scott Huff, the water and sewer distribution superintendent, submitted a letter in conjunction with the application. Huff certified that water and sewer service is available to the land, and has sufficient capacity to support 50 or more units.

In other business:

The council endorsed an alcoholic beverage permit for K&T Mart, 134 Railroad St. The store would sell beer and wine.

The council voted to buy a 4-column lift for the city garage. The low bid of $33,020 was submitted by Reliable Hydraulics Inc., of Smyrna, Ga.

Ron Nickles, the chief mechanic, said the lift "should be able to support anything we've got." It would even lift a firetruck, he said.

The budgeted amount was $40,390.

The failed, higher bid of $41,806 was submitted by Gray Manufacturing Co. of St. Joseph, Mo.

The council reappointed Bill Doupe and Brad Adams to the Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services Advisory Board. Both terms extend through June 2015. The city has four appointments, Dearing has two appointments, the schools have one appointment, and the county has five appointments.

Web posted on Thursday, June 16, 2011

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