Letter to the Editor - Cathy Bemiss
To the editor,
I would like to share information on funding for the downtown restoration project.
There was a $100,000 grant from the DOE given to Main Street to help participating downtown businesses pay for costs associated with installing geothermal in their buildings.
There is a $500,000 grant to assist three building owners in creating 12 upper-story apartments. Each owner will receive a minimum of $42,000 per apartment to cover building costs.
There is a $150,000+ façade grant to assist building owners in refurbishing their building fronts.
Seven of the upper-story apartments must be rented to low-/middle-income families. Under current guidelines, the property owners will receive up to $458 per month rent assistance from the government for one-bedroom apartments. If there are two bedrooms, they receive more money.
The current guideline establishes $705 per month as fair market value in Fayette County for a one-bedroom home/apartment. The formula does include income guidelines for the potential renters. Keep in mind that our residential facility is a reliable source for low-income renters.
When I suggested a hookup fee for each building to begin to build a maintenance/replacement fund for the geo system, one of those above business owners was very angry. If the City required that revenue in the contract, they couldn’t afford the geo system, even though they will have three of the upper-story apartments. I found that statement to be disingenuous.
I still support the hookup fee, but it doesn’t have the three votes I need to include this fee in the contract.
Cathy (Renwick) Bemiss