Salisbury City Council to consider more than $500,000 in federal funding for housing initiatives

Published 7:38 am Monday, January 17, 2022

SALISBURY — Council members on Tuesday will consider granting Rowan Helping Ministries, Rowan County United Way and S&H Youth and Adult Services more than $500,000 in federal funding to carry out programs targeted for the housing-insecure.

City council members will meet virtually Tuesday at 6 p.m. The meeting will be streamed live at salisburync.gov/webcast and on the city’s Twitter account. Anyone who wishes to speak during public comment must sign-up by 5 p.m. today by contacting City Clerk Kelly Baker at kbake@salisburync.gov or 704-638-5233.

Later in the meeting, Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes will provide the council with an update on crime trends and staffing.

Included in the federal American Rescue Plan is $5 billion for the HOME program, which aims to increase home ownership and expand affordable housing. The city of Salisbury is slated to receive $525,940, which is funneled from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The city receives Community Development Block Grants from HUD each year, but this allocation would be an additional pot of funds.

This grant is also separate from the city’s share of ARP funding of which nearly $6 million remains.

The HOME grant aims to help people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or within another vulnerable population, including those recently released from prison or with low incomes. Eligible expenses for the grant include development and support of affordable housing, tenant-based rental assistance, development of non-congregate shelters and support services such as homelessness prevention and counseling services.

During a public hearing held Nov. 16, Rowan Helping Ministries, the United Way and S&H Youth and Adult Services detailed their collaboration on a capital project to expand transitional and permanent housing along with substance abuse and mental health services. An application period for the funding was open for 30 days before the deadline of Dec. 31. Now, staff recommend granting $400,000 to RHM and $87,247 to the Rowan County United Way and S&H Youth and Adult Services for purchase and development of non-congregate shelter housing. Additionally, $5,000 would be used to further fair housing initiatives.

In other agenda items:

• City Attorney Graham Corriher will provide a second reading of revisions he has made to the city’s code of ordinances to decriminalize certain violations in compliance with a new state law.

• Council will discuss the 2022 Federal Action Plan, which outlines the city’s projects and policy needs in the areas of community and economic development, quality of life, public safety and public infrastructure.

• Members of the city’s Public Works and Engineering departments will present revisions to the city’s residential street cross-section standards and erosion control standards for lots measuring less than an acre. Staff say such revisions are needed due to the recent increase in residential development throughout the city. Revisions have been endorsed by both the city’s Technical Review Committee and the Planning Board.

• Council will consider the upset bid process for the sale of parcels 005-143 and 055-144 located on the 1200 block of West Fisher Street. Wesley and Shakya Jackson have submitted an offer of $1,500 to purchase the properties, with the former parcel measuring .34 acres at an assessed tax value of $18,382, and the latter parcel measuring .26 acres and assessed at $15,680. The Jacksons have submitted the 5% deposit required and will undergo the 10-day upset bid process period.

• Council will consider a contract with Withers Ravenel in the amount of $30,905 for a Jump and Run Branch Watershed analysis and engineering services. Funds for the project were included in the 2021-22 budget.

• Council will consider beginning a process that will span three meetings regarding a voluntary annexation for Cloninger Investments Inc. located at 645 Julian Road. The request is to annex 3.23 acres. Tuesday request will be to instruct City Clerk Kelly Baker to investigate the sufficiency of the request, followed by a public hearing in February before voting.

• Council will consider a request to demolish dilapidated structures at 418 and 420 S. Craige St.

• Council will consider appointing Breck Dorton to fill an unexpired vacancy on the Rowan Economic Development Council. The term expires Dec. 31, 2023.

• Council will consider a request from Spectrum for a right-of-way encroachment for the installation of underground bore in the 100 block of South Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, which is also subject to approval by the North Carolina Department of Transportation.

• Mayor Karen Alexander will proclaim Jan. 23-29 as School Choice Week and Jan. 30 to Feb. 5 Catholic Schools Week.

Contact reporter Natalie Anderson at 704-797-4246.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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