Portions of a weathered West Morehead neighborhood could be revitalized if the city secures funds from a community development block grant (CDBG).

    The proposed improvements would encompass areas just south of West Main Street, including Center Street, Clint Court and Hill Court.

    “Center Street is horribly skinny, and there are no sidewalks at all,” said Vonday Poynter of Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises (FAHE).             She spoke last Monday at the regular meeting of the Morehead City Council.

    “We can apply for a CDBG grant from the Kentucky Department of Local Government for up to $1 million to do infrastructure improvements that would remove substandard housing and improve walkability in the neighborhood,” Poynter said.     

    If the application is approved, the city would enter into a $1.8 million partnership with Frontier Housing to raze some of the rundown houses in that neighborhood and replace them with single-family residences or other homeownership units, Poynter said.

    Grant guidelines stipulate that families currently in the mostly rental properties would be provided assistance with relocation, and when the new homes are complete they could apply for homeownership loans under certain income stipulations.

    The project also would include neighborhood infrastructure improvements, such as building sidewalks, widening the turn onto Center Street from West Main Street and rerouting some utility lines.

    City Council authorized a municipal order to file the CDBG application and also approved an agreement with Frontier Housing to split the $7,000 grant application fee.

    Poynter said it will likely be early next year before they know whether the project will be funded.

    After lengthy discussion, Council passed a motion to draft an ordinance to close Trumbo Avenue which deadends at Pasquale’s Restaurant in front of the American Legion Corbie Ellington Post 126. The post plans to build a new, one-story facility on its property to accommodate its aging veterans.

    In other business, Council:

    • Accepted the low bid of $14,995 from Larry Fannin Chevrolet for a used vehicle for law enforcement purposes.

    • Enacted two ordinances related to closing streets, including portions of Second Street between Allen and Knapp avenues and between Allen and Fleming Avenues. A third ordinance accepted the alley connecting Battson-Oates Drive and Ashland Avenue into the city as a public way.

    • Enacted an ordinance establishing the 2012 motor vehicle and watercraft tax rate for the City of Morehead at 22 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.

    • Approved the appointment of Porter Dailey to the Board of Directors of the Morehead Utility Plant Board to fill the unexpired term of Darlene Brooks, who resigned. The term expires June 10, 2014.

    Noelle Hunter can be reached at nhunter@themoreheadnews.com or by telephone at 784-4116.

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