Long to oversee house rehab program

By Emma Rausch

Mayor Scott Long will oversee the City of Wabash’s Owner Occupied Rehabilitation program.

On Monday, Nov. 27, the Wabash City Council approved a resolution in regards to the Stellar Communities program, which entered Phase II in August. At that time, the city accepted a Community Development Block Grant, which totaled $270,000, from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority.

“Basically, this is for Phase II of the Owner Occupied Rehabilitation,” Long said, “and the resolution is being asked to be passed by the common council basically giving me the authority as mayor to direct and execute and acknowledge and deliver in the city’s name all applications, documents, covenants, binding real estate, deeds, instruments or writings as are necessary and/or appropriate.”

He added that the resolution is “formality paperwork because federal fundings come down community development block grants through the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority to the City of Wabash.

“We’ve already approved the monies previously,” the mayor continued to explain. “This is basically authorizing me to sign all the contracts for the homes and things of that nature before they work on them.

“Hopefully, we’ll be ramping that up shortly after the first of the year.”

Long noted that the program received multiple applications, which have still yet to be sorted through “so we get it down to being about 12 homes” receiving the funds.

“I think we have 14 or 16 now,” he said. “Phase I, we had two homes drop out at least and one homeowner passed away. … So we have a couple extra standbys in case something happens like that.”

In other news, the council also unanimously approved a Wabash City Schools additional appropriation request for $100,000 for the corporation’s General Fund, $300,000 for the Transportation Fund and $425,000 for the Capital Projects Fund.

“The reasons that we had to bring these additional appropriations (forward) is this the tax cap that was so big that was not as big,” Matt Stone, WCS chief business manager, told the council. “So we had to bring additional appropriations because our budget was approved before they (the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance) reduced the tax caps. So this is just the money that now we did receive from the state.

“So all those things we have to spend. So that was the money that we did receive that we thought we were being cut. So just book keeping we have to have done before Dec. 15.”

Because the City Council appoints the Wabash City Schools Board, it has final say over any financial matters for the district.

Posted on 2017 Dec 05