Interest expressed in rental rehab program 2012.02.08

Written by David Green.

City officials learned Friday that downtown property owners have considerable interest in taking advantage of state funding for the rehabilitation of rental units.

More than 15 people met at city hall with representatives from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to hear details about the program.

The MSHDA representatives toured two locations—the proposed apartments above the new Subway restaurant and the adjacent property, and the second floor of the old Main Street depot, now owned by the State Line Gem and Mineral Society.

City administrator clerk Renée Schroeder expects that at least five locations should be eligible for funding, and possibly two others.

Property owners have until Feb. 29 to submit a letter of interest. Construction drawings are also needed, along with  testing for asbestos and lead-based paint.

Each unit is eligible for funding up to $35,000 in the form of a five-year zero percent interest, forgivable loan. The property owner must invest at least 25 percent of the construction cost and agree to rent at least 51 percent of the units to tenants that meet certain income requirements.

When letters of intent are received, the city will total the amount requested and apply for a grant on behalf of the property owners.

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    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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