Mayor Scott Jerew informed council about a meeting he attended regarding improvements for village residences and businesses.
Council reports it is always trying to find ways for residents to make improvements on their properties and for businesses to make updates, without causing financial hardship in the process. It is always looking to encourage development and new construction.
One such program is supported by the Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) and the Union County Chamber of Commerce. This program is called the “Community Reinvestment Area (CRA).
This program will include the areas from Beatty Avenue (a section near Franklin Street), the west end of Wood Street, North Clinton Street and South Clinton Street, the west end of Herbert Street to South Franklin Street, Gill Street and South Fulton Street, including Oak Street (village administration building), West Blagrove to East Blagrove (ending at Beatty Avenue), West Bomford Street (starting at Plummer Street) to East Bomford Street (stopping at Pearl Street) and including Walnut Street.
This part of the village designated as the proposed CRA encompasses 76 acres, which represents approximately 9.2 percent of the village’s total area. There are 286 parcels of varying uses, including single and multi-family residential, commercial, government, places of worship, and undeveloped lots.
The proposed CRA includes the totality of historic downtown Richwood, which serves as the center of commerce and social gathering within the village.
An exterior review of the residential units within the proposed CRA boundary was completed. It lists varying degrees of maintenance issues, including the need for paint, roof repair or replacement, window replacement, siding repair, foundation stabilization and others.
The highlight of this program is to offer any improvements made on properties in the proposed CRA in the amount of $7,500 or more, in the form of a tax abatement, including 75 percent for each of the seven years the abatement is active.
For example, if a property’s real estate taxes were $2,000 per year and improvements of $7,500 or more were performed, the owner would qualify.
Jerew suggested that anyone who is living in the designated area who wants more details about the program, to contact the Union County Chamber of Commerce or the CIC.
Jerew also informed council that a representative from Access Engineering contacted him regarding a possible grant that may be available to help in repairs of the Opera House/former Town Hall building. More information will be forthcoming. The engineering firm continues to locate available money for the project.
In other business, council;
-Village Administrator Monte Asher told council that he is working on a team-building/leadership class, working with Jamie Slife (United States Marine Corp Special Forces). He’s working on setting up a program to do locally.
-Heard that North Union Schools, Union County Mental Health Association, village and police are working on some possible upcoming projects for the village;
-Heard from treasurer Tim Goodwin that he is working on the village budget and will present it at the Feb. 25 council meeting.
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