At Tuesday’s regular Creston City Council meeting, the city and Union County Development Association (UCDA) agreed to work together toward acquisition of a vacant property, 507 South Elm Street, for the purpose of improving the property as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
The acquisition of this property is part of an ongoing effort to clean up properties in the area and offer affordable housing to Creston residents.
In this agreement, the city council agreed to review the requirements as stated in the National Historic Preservation Act, approve project specifications and pass a resolution declaring the property beyond repair.
UCDA will finance all aspects of the project, to potentially include costs associated with acquisition, legal fees, demolition and new development.
A development schedule and detailed cost estimate for the construction of the new house will be provided to the city. UCDA will obtain and review bids for all work on the property.
In addition to improving the Creston community, the neighborhood stabilization project enhances the learning experience and expands the skillset of the community.
According to Wayne Patini, executive director for UCDA, a new house on the property will be built by students from Southwestern Community College (SWCC) and Creston High School.
“SWCC students in the carpentry and building trades program build about one house a year as part of this program” said Bill Taylor, vice president of instruction at SWCC.
This year, SWCC will be partnering with high school students enrolled in the carpentry and building trades career academy to complete projects because of low enrollment.
Taylor said high school students who enroll as juniors are able to earn up to 30 college credits if they complete two years of the program in high school.
“At this rate, students enrolling in the carpentry and building program right out of high school can finish an associate degree in applied science in one year” said Taylor.
SWCC’s program allows students to complete all four levels of apprenticeship training as recommended by the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training and is recognized by Associated Builders and Contractors.
After completion of the project, UCDA will identify a qualifying, low-to-moderate income individual or family to purchase the home.
In other city business the council:
• Approved the third and final reading of an ordinance amendment for cemetery regulations.
• Approved the third reading of an ordinance amendment for installment payment of cost of abatement.
• Approved the third and final reading of an ordinance adding provisions pertaining to lien exemption and amendment of provisions pertaining to lien for nonpayment.
• Accepted the annual audit report for the city of Creston for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012.
• Approved a proposed engineering services agreement with Clapsaddle-Garber Associates for an airport fencing improvements project.
• Approved an agreement with Barker Lemar Engineering Consultants to place soil boring/monitoring wells on city right of way in the area of South Elm and West Union streets.
• Approved a request of $18,795 from Hotel/Motel Funds for Creston Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Tourism marketing and promotional budget.
• Accepted a $3,500 volunteer assistance grant award on behalf of the Creston Fire Department.
• Approved a payment of $1,753.18 to Habitat for Humanity for the Neighborhood Stabilization Project house project at 801 West Jefferson Street.
• Approved a temporary street closing on Nov. 29 for the Lighted Christmas Parade and firework display.
• Held a public hearing and approved a development agreement with Union County Development Association.
• Postponed a decision to approve a request from Terian Inc. to place a six-foot tall chain link fence with three strands of barbed wire at 102 West Union Street pending additional information.