City receives $400,000 for housing rehab

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home City Council agreed to accept a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant to fund housing rehabilitation loans through the State of Oregon Infrastructure and Finance Authority.

The grant funds are administered by the Linn County Housing Rehabilitation Partnership, which includes Brownsville, Halsey, Harrisburg, Lebanon, Scio, Sweet Home and Tangent and unincorporated areas of the county. Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services administers the program on behalf of the partnership.

The city has participated in the partnership since 2003. Sweet Home last applied for funds on behalf of the partnership in 2002.

“There is a constant need for housing rehabilitation funds and services within the partnership jurisdictions, including Sweet Home,” said City Manager Craig Martin. “Securing CDBG funding for the program will provide additional financial assistance to income-qualifying households to make safety and habitability improvements to homes, such as basic plumbing, electrical, roofing, weatherization and structural repairs.”

The program provides no-interest loans to homeowners who qualify to make repairs. The loans are repaid when a property is sold or changes hands following a death.

Present at the regular council meeting, held on Jan. 14, were councilors Marybeth Angulo, Greg Mahler, Craig Fentiman, Mayor Jim Gourley, Scott McKee Jr., Dave Trask and Bruce Hobbs.

In other business, the council:

n Approved an employment agreement with Municipal Court Judge Larry Blake Jr. The judge will receive a raise from $4,040 per month to $4,285 per month, effective Aug. 1, 2013 to July 31, 2015.

n Recommended to the Ore-gon Liquor Control Commission approval of a new liquor license for The Woods Roadhouse, 6099 Main St., formerly the Foster Waterhole. Pamela Oakson is purchasing the business from Theresa Brown.

n Adopted three resolutions related to receiving CDBG funds for housing rehabilitation, addressing fair housing, compliance with U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements and adopting a limited English proficiency policy and language access plan.

n Also as part of receiving CDBG funds, confirmed adoption of a Police Department policy regarding the use of excessive force. The previous policy was created in 1992.

The resolution prohibits law enforcement personnel from using excessive force against any individuals engaged in nonviolent civil rights demonstrations and barring entrance to or exit from a facility or location that is the subject of the nonviolent civil rights demonstrations.

n Received an “unmodified” opinion in an audit by Grove, Mueller and Swank, essentially a “clean” audit of the city’s finances.