By Crystal Howerton
Upon recent completion of the Community Development Block Grant project, a public hearing was held on Tuesday afternoon, February 26, 2008 at the Edina City Hall to gather input from the public regarding performance of the grant project.
Community Economic Development Director Dave Davison met with Edina Mayor Davey Strickler, Jr., and City Clerk Margaret Gibson to discuss the success of the project and finalize the project's completion, but no residents were in attendance.
"This project caught the interest of owners of dilapidated structures and provided them with the opportunity to have the structures torn down at little or no cost to the them," stated Davison. "Although, typically, these funds are granted on a 'one-time basis', the City has since taken an active and aggressive role in enforcing their ordinance regarding dilapidated structures. The City is currently encouraging other citizens with unsafe buildings to develop a plan to have these structures repaired or demolished," he added.
The CDBG project, funded by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, was applied for several years ago when City officials recognized a need for assistance in removing unsafe structures within city limits. Having been denied the first application, the City of Edina was awarded $66,900 in July 2002 upon their second attempt. A cooperative effort among City officials and Davison led to the proposed demolition of six residential and one commercial structure. In spite of delays that put the project behind the proposed two-year completion, demolition of five residential and two commercial structures was accomplished. These properties were demolished by Gooden Demolition, Lancaster, and Hoffman and Sons of LaBelle, MO, at an average cost of $4-5,000 for a residential property and $10-12,000 for a commercial property.
According to Davison, this grant is becoming increasingly popular with cities and counties throughout the state making it more difficult to obtain, but area cities such as Downing, Lewistown and Kahoka are taking advantage of the grant, as well.