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Good response to HOME hearing

About 50 people attended the public hearing on the HOME grant last Thursday at City Hall, expressing a great need for the housing rehabilitation program in Hazlehurst.

The hearing gave the public an opportunity to pick up application forms and find out more information about the grant program which will allow the city to rebuild several homes in need of repair.

The amount of the grant will be determined by the houses selected – the number of bedrooms determining the cost and size of the units, explained Bill Coker, grant administrator. The grant program targets substandard housing, poverty and overcrowding.

The grant process is very competitive, with only about 18 projects expected to be funded out of about 90 applications statewide, Coker told the board of aldermen.  The city must turn in a grant application by August 6 to be eligible for consideration.

Coker also remarked that more citizens attended the city’s public hearing than the one held by the county that same day.

The aldermen met briefly Thursday evening to review the hearing and select the grant adminstrator. Coker Consulting has 34 years of grant management experience, including 10 prior grants for the City of Hazlehurst. Coker currently works with the city on the CDBG sewer project. Coker Consulting was the only administration proposal received for the HOME grant.

Also during the brief recessed meeting the aldermen were informed that an offer had been made by the attorney to purchase the second water well site under discussion at the previous meeting.

The Hazlehurst Board of Aldermen regularly meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. at City Hall. These meetings are open to the public.

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