The East Ridge Housing and Redevelopment Authority met Wednesday afternoon to consider what areas in the city it would focus on to combat blight.
Mark Litchford, the housing authority’s attorney, told the panel that beginning in November he along with members of the city staff have worked in conjunction with the Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency, Hamilton County GIS and the city’s fire and police departments, to determine a redevelopment study boundary map. The area is comprised roughly of the Border Region District and adjacent properties, he said.
Litchford explained that only properties within the boundary map would be considered for the city to acquire blighted properties and rehabilitate them for a higher public purpose.
Officials said the map would be available for public scrutiny at City Hall on Tombras Avenue.
The Chairman of the East Ridge Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Darwin Branum, was unable to attend due to illness in his immediate family. Housing authority commissioner Curtis Adams was absent. In Branum’s absence, Vice Chairman Eddie Phillips assumed the chair.
Members of the board quickly pointed out that there were some areas that should be included in the redevelopment boundary map that were left off. Board member Earl Wilson said that he would like to see the area on Bennett Road between Greenslake and John Ross Roads included in the map. There was also mention of Karwill Lane, the location of the Kimberly Motel, as well as a couple of outlying residential areas be a part of the boundary map.
It was explained that only properties within the redevelopment boundary map could be considered by the housing authority for future action. Phillips suggested that adopting the map should be tabled for two weeks allowing housing authority commissioners and professional staff at the city and county level to potentially add additional areas. The housing authority will meet again on January 24 at 10 a.m. to consider those revisions.
The housing authority voted to request a $20,000 appropriation from the City to pay for legal services, planning services and appraisals. City Manager Scott Miller said he would add that item to Thursday night’s East Ridge City Council agenda session. The issue would likely come before the council during the Jan. 25 meeting.
Phillips said the $20,000 would be “seed money” as “things are starting to happen” with the housing authority.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the East Ridge Housing Authority is set for Feb. 5 at 10 a.m. at City Hall.