UNION — The City of Union will provide more than $300,000 in matching funds to help secure grants for the second phases of the Ottaray Mill Village and Monarch Mill Village projects.
Union City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to approve resolutions authorizing the allocation of $51,172 and $277,962 for the second phases of the Ottaray and Monarch projects, respectively. The funds will serve as matches for the Community Block Development Grants to fund the projects being applied for by Union County.
Council had previously approved a resolution allocating $41,000 as a match for the second phase of the Ottaray project, but Finance Director Walker Gallman said Tuesday that a change in how projects are determined to be eligible for CDBG funding pushed up the cost.
“It is just the matter of qualifying the location,” Gallman said. “It used to be determined by the total number of low- and moderate-income households in the area. Now they determine it by the number of low- and moderate-income households street by street.”
Gallman said the same is true of the second phase of the Monarch project. He said the CDBG program requires at least 51 percent of all households to be served by a project to be low- to moderate-income with additional funding required for non-eligible households. In the case of the Monarch project, Gallman said the houses on Hancock and Munro streets and one house on Lockhart Highway did not meet the CDBG eligibility requirements. He this was due in part to there being so many vacant buildings on Hancock Street.
The result is that the city must provide a 50 percent match or $277,962 for the project instead of a 10 percent match. Neverthless, Gallman said city staff felt that the work should be done because this would complete the needed upgrade in the area. Gallman pointed out that the water and sewers lines that will be replaced in Monarch are dilapidated and at the end of their lifespan as are the sewer lines to be replaced in Ottaray. He said they must be replaced in order for the city to continue providing adequate service to the residents. As the supplier of water and sewer services to those communities, Gallman said the city would also benefit from the upgrades to those systems.
The Ottaray project will involve the construction of approximately 1,490 linear feet of eight-inch sewer line along parts of Second and Third streets. The improvements will serve 28 households.
The Monarch project will involve the construction of approximately 2,850 linear feet of eight-inch sewer line, 640 linear feet of six-inch water line, and 150 linear feet of two-inch water line. The project will also involve the acquisition of three right-of-way easements and will serve 50 households.
Council also voted unanimously Tuesday to award the following bids:
• For the cleaning of sludge from the sludge drying beds at the water plant to Smith Backhoe & Construction for $35,112 for three years.
• For power line clearing to Caldwell Landscaping & Clearing Inc. for $2,660. This contract is also for three years with an option to be renewed for a fourth year if both parties agree.
Council also voted unanimously to donate $500 to the Union County Dixie Girls Softball Association.
The donation was in response to a letter by association vice president Bennie Kershaw asking the city for funds “to help offset general expenses incurred by the league.”
Mayor Harold Thompson said that the city has approved similar requests from the association over the years.
Council also voted unanimously to donate $500 to the STEM College Tour Spring Break 2013 sponsored by the Urban League of the Upstate and Urban Achievements for Youth Education.
Background provided by Thompson to council states that the tour is designed for Upstate high school students in the 10th, 11th, and 12th grades to enhance their awareness of STEM careers and academic programs. Students participating in the tour will visit Howard University, N.C. State, Morgan State, the State Department, and more.
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.