Homeownership programs and proposals to use more American Rescue Plan funds toward housing and building improvement programs are on Jamestown City Council‘s agenda for its work session Monday.
One resolution would use $750,000 in ARP funds to create a permanent 19A Homeownership Program.
According to the staff report, the city would use the 19A program to acquire vacant properties in Jamestown. As per the requirements of the statute, these properties have to have at least one actionable code enforcement violation. The city would then work with other non-profits to rehabilitate the structures either using ARPA funds or through the enrollment of the new owner in the HUD-funded HOME Program.
Council also will review a request to fund an additional $1 million to the Building & Property Infrastructure Improvements program. Council had approved funding that program with $500,000 in April after staff had requested it be funded with $1 million. Department of Development staff are requesting the additional monies after business application requests for program funding came in at $2,807,533.
And a resolution for an additional $2 million for the Roof, Private Sewer Lateral, Private Water Line Repair/Replacement Program will be reviewed.
The program was originally funded with $750,000 in ARP funds in March. The application request period saw 131 requests from homeowners of up to $25,000 per property, well exceeding what was available in grant funds.
The Housing Committee will begin reviewing three proposed Housing Ordinances that pertain to Rental Inspection, Vacant Property Registration, and Public Nuisances.
According to the staff report, the rental inspection would require inspections at the time of the sale or transfer of rental properties and require them to be brought up to code in the aftermath of the transfer.
The public nuisance ordinance would replace the current, vague nuisance ordinance with a more robust one that lists out the violations that would result in a nuisance finding and also limits the reach to only those units in which the nuisance(s) originate. The current nuisance ordinance had led to a lawsuit due its vague and unenforceable nature.
The vacant real property ordinance requires owners of vacant properties in the City to register the vacant building, create a plan detailing what will be done at those properties, and charges a fee that increases with each year the building continues to remain vacant.
The City is also requesting $100,000 to do a zoning code update. The City hasn’t updated its Comprehensive Plan since 1998 and Zoning Code since 1969 with amendments in 1998. The City was awarded a CFA grant in 2021 to complete a Comprehensive Plan and is seeking funds to complete the Zoning Code Update simultaneously.
Council also will review a resolution to accept a $18,866 Justice Assistance Grant. The grant would be used by the Jamestown Police Department to purchase day-to-day supplies and small equipment. A public hearing on the Justice Assistance Grant will be held at 9am, Tuesday, July 19
Council also will continue discussions on a shared services agreement with the Jamestown Public Schools District for sidewalk plowing in the winter. The proposed cost to the city through 2026 is $689,672 and would be funded using ARP monies.
Housing Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Monday with other committee meetings at 7:00 p.m. The full work session will take place at 7:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers on the 2nd floor of City Hall. The meetings are open to the public with the full work session streamed on jamestownny.gov.
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