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No action taken in Habitat request


April 6, 2010 at 10:02 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2010 at 11:06 p.m.

The Habitat for Humanity Victoria chapter had requested eight lots in the city-owned Swan Crossing and 7,500 in federal funds to assist with build such things as sidewalks.

Swan Crossing residents will learn more about Habitat for Humanity before the city decides if it will give part of the neighborhood to the group.

Habitat for Humanity asked the city council Tuesday for eight lots of the city-own subdivision to build more homes. The development has 55 lots, with only five homes built on the 12 acres.

"I'd rather have neighbors talking to neighbors," said Gabriel Soliz, council member for District 2 where the subdivision is located.

Council member District 3 Paul Polasek said allowing for Habitat for Humanity to build on the lots would not only benefit new homeowners, but the city as well because there would be fewer lots for the city to maintain.

Soliz was also concerned that future homeowners would be able to pay for the property and taxes.

A resident of Swan Crossing, who admitted he was not familiar with Habitat for Humanity, also voiced his concerns of the effect it could have on property value.

Jared Mayfield, deputy director of development services, said some deed restrictions would have to be lifted for the Habitat homes to qualify under HUD in the Community Development Block Grant Program, Mayfield said.

In other business, the council allotted $78,000 of $81,000 in hotel/motel tax to two more non-city agencies. Last week the council doled out $55,000 to other agencies.

Representatives from the Theatre Victoria and the Cultural Council discussed their funding requests.

Theater Victoria requested $61,400, but received $52,000.

"It is the main draw in downtown. It's the play that brings people downtown," said Mayor Will Armstrong.

The Cultural Council requested $40,000 and received $26,000.

Joni Brown, executive director of Keeping Victoria Beautiful, addressed the council about possibly reviving the Texas Main Street Program, which helps cities redevelop their historic downtown areas.

Brown said a letter of inquiry would have to be sent by May 15 if the city is interested in pursuing to program.

The council took no action on the request.



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