Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

April 11, 2013

Habitat seeks city’s help on projects

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

GREENUP —  Habitat for Humanity is planning to build two houses in Greenup, but it needs the city’s help to do so.

Mike Garlinger, construction coordinator for the Greenup County Habitat chapter, on Tuesday told the Greenup City Council the nonprofit organization had recently received a donation of two lots on Dundee Drive, near the Greenup County Health Department, and was planning to build houses on both.

He said a recipient — a woman raising three grandchildren — had already been chosen for the first home. He also said Habitat was working with CrossRoads Missions, a Louisville-based organization, on the project. Approximately 125 high school students will build the walls of the house during a church camp in Ona the week of June 9 through 14, and the walls will be trucked to the site, he said.

The problem, Garlinger said, is neither of the lots has water or sewer lines. He asked the council if it would be willing to help foot at least part of the expense of running them. Being a charitable organization, he said Habitat is usually strapped for cash, and the city’s mandatory $1,200 tap fee “is going to completely shoot” one of the grants Habitat has received for the project.

Habitat helps families realize the dream of home ownership by financing the construction of new homes with zero-interest loans. Recipients are required to invest 500 hours of “sweat equity” in their own houses and/or other Habitat projects.

Richard Howerton, the city’s consulting engineer, said the city’s usual practice was to require developers to pay for water and sewer lines. However, Garlinger said he didn’t think Habitat could be considered a “developer” given the small number of houses it builds.

The council ultimately voted to have Mayor Lundie Meadows do some research into the cost of laying the lines before committing to helping with the project. Two council members — David Black and David Abdon — voted “no” on even taking that step.

“I can’t see the city picking up the whole cost,” Black said. Garlinger said Habitat wasn’t expecting it to.

Abdon asked Meadows how long it would take for the city to recover its cost of laying the lines, to which the mayor responded: “It would be awhile.”

Council members Marty Stephens, Joe Mantz and Jeff Hurn voted to have Meadows research the cost of laying lines to the property. Councilman Mark Harris was absent.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.