New housing rehabilitation program to be presented to Council

Published 12:10 am Monday, May 14, 2018

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — A new housing rehabilitation program for North Main Street and the area around Salisbury High School could soon be realized.

A presentation by Planning Director Janet Gapen is scheduled for Tuesday’s City Council meeting to give the Council a chance to learn and give a consensus about the program.

The program would include both owner-occupied and rental exterior rehabilitation projects.

For homeowners, the maximum grant amount would be $20,000. For rental owners, the maximum would be $10,000.

Homeowners would receive the grant as a “deferred mortgage lien,” which would be forgivable after five years if the homeowner continues to own, occupy and maintain the property.

There is no match requirement for homeowners, but rental owners would be required to contribute a 25 percent match — a maximum of $2,500 — to the project.

The rental owner would also be required to rent to a low-to-moderate income tenant.

The pilot program would be limited to the North Main Street and Salisbury High School neighborhoods but, if it is successful, it could be expanded to other neighborhoods in the future.

According to the presentation, some of the purposes of the program include stabilizing property values and stimulating additional private investment in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Other items on the agenda include:

• Council will receive a presentation about refinancing debt for Fibrant.

The presentation will be informational for Council about refinancing bids.

There will be a public meeting May 24 at 3:30 at City Hall where citizens will be able to voice their opinions.

• Council will receive a presentation from Police Chief Jerry Stokes.

Stokes will give an overview of grant funding available from the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

He will also present information from Department of Justice (DOJ) programs.

• Councilmember Karen Alexander will make a presentation about her architecture firm’s work on the Salisbury Customer Service Center.

• Council will receive a presentation regarding the fiscal year 2018-19 budget and will set a date for a public hearing.

• Council will recognize Salisbury firefighters who helped rescue two skydivers.

The skydivers were suspended from trees 40 feet above the ground after their parachutes malfunctioned April 14.

In a Salisbury Post story about the rescue, Salisbury Fire Department Deputy Chief David Morris said that, in the last 10 or 15 years, he could only recall a few similar incidents.

But Morris said the department still trains, just in case something like this does happen.

Locke and Woodleaf fire departments also responded, along with Rowan County EMS, Rowan County Rescue and the Salisbury Police Department.

Council will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. at City Hall — 217 South Main Street.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.