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South Boston lends support to housing initiative

SoVaNow.com / June 12, 2014
South Boston Town Council on Monday night approved a $50,000 loan for the Southside Outreach Group under the leadership of Earl Howerton to purchase and renovate the Fairmont Apartments and completely upgrade the facility. The property will be renamed Miller Homes of Poplar Creek.

According to Town Manager Ted Daniel, the $50,000 sum has been included in the upcoming year’s budget and will be an interest-free 20 year loan.

Daniel stressed that the funds are targeted for economic development for the low income housing initiative, which he believes will pay enormous dividends in public health, safety and welfare by providing strict management and oversight of the apartments, which currently are in the center of an historically high crime and drug problem area of the Town.

The apartments will provide affordable housing for participants in the Southside Outreach Homeowners Program, who are awaiting an opportunity to become first time home owners.

He noted that Southside Outreach has already expended $50,134 out of its budget to get the project underway and is expected to close on a $720,000 loan with Virginia Community Capital in late July or August.

Following public hearings on two rezoning requests, Council approved both.

The first request came from Bur-Can II which will allow multi-family housing units on a parcel of land in the Riverdale area which is currently zoned Dan River District. John Cannon had asked that the parcel be rezoned to allow for the construction of apartments.

The second request came from Ray Conner who is seeking to move his business, Rays Key & Lock nearer to his home on Parker Avenue.

Council also approved its $9.1 million budget for FY2014-2015 on first reading as well as giving approval to the tax and fee listings. Taxes and fees remain nearly the same as in the current year, with the additions of a $200 annual permit fee for the sale of precious metals and gems, and a $75 per hour rental fee for the use of the Washington-Coleman Community Center.

Council also approved the reappointment of Frank Lee and George Burton to four year terms on the South Boston Industrial Development Authority and the appointment of Ann Conner to a four year term on the Halifax County South Boston Library Board.

Coleman Speece was reappointed to a four year term on the Southside Planning District Commission along with George Leonard to a three year term and Roger Thaxton to a term which expires on June 30, 2016.

Council also approved the reappointment of Dexter Gilliam and Stewart Nelson to continue their work on the Halifax County Service Authority for another four year term.

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