MITCHELL – During a public hearing this morning that was held during a Mitchell City Council meeting, Jenny Dearwester, Housing Program Manager for the Southern Indiana Development Commission, presented information in regards to a grant for Owner/Occupied Housing.
The sum of funds requested $250,000. The Community Development Grant is administered by the Office of Community Affairs. Which the City of Mitchell will contribute a total of $84,146.98 in USDA Rural Development Housing preservation grant funds provided by the Southern Indiana Development Commission.
If approved for the grant it is estimated that 17 homes will be able to be remodeled to address maintanence and repair needs with their homes. A few of the most major area needs that could be addressed include; roof replacement, heating and cooling, ADA compliance for access to the home, water meter replacement, or electrical repairs. Other areas may be considered if certain criteria is met of the grant.
The grants are expected to be awarded on September 20, 2021, and those interested in the program will be given notice when to start submitting applications.
During their meeting, Mitchell City Council members voted on a Fair Housing Ordinance to be in compliance with the grant application as well as a resolution to apply for the grant.
Mitchell City Council members also approved granting city employees 10 days of pay should they test positive with the COVID-19 virus. There are currently several city employees that have tested positive with the virus. They are currently required to use their available sick time first. If the employee did not have remaining sick time, there were concerns raised that employees would continue to report to work to ensure they are compensated, endagering other employees.
Mayor J.D. England reported there are still ARP funds available to pay for this at this time. Council members raised concern as to what the action plan would be once these available funds are exhausted. City officials are hoping that additional funds will be made available for this purpose.
All City of Mitchell employees are being encouraged to get vaccinated, but it is not currently mandated. The measure passed with Larry Caudell, Perry Reynolds, and George James voting yes, and Nathan Jenkins abstaining from the vote.
The next Mitchell City Council meeting will be held on August 30, at 7:00 p.m.