MEDI board members see housing as economic priority

News editor

Marion Economic Development Inc. board members on Tuesday discussed ways to get more attractive homes on the market in town and clear out dilapidated homes to make room for new construction.

Construction of duplexes for senior citizens and renovation of September Apartments ought to entice some senior citizens to downsize from large homes, city administrator Roger Holter said.

Holter also said he would advise city council to budget more money for demolition of dilapidated houses. He said there are 14 residential properties in the city several years delinquent on property taxes, and all of them are unoccupied. Demolishing just a few would open lots for development of three or four new houses, which would be more economical than building a single house at a time, he said.

Under normal circumstances, demolition and disposal costs about $2,500 for a house, Holter said. The city typically budgets $5,000 a year. In 2013, most of that went into demolition of a single house, because hazardous materials were found, making it more expensive.

Guest Steve Unruh said he would be happy to organize volunteers to reduce the cost of demolishing derelict homes.

In other business:

  • The board elected Adam Stewart as secretary and retained all other officers from 2013.
  • Sign and logo ideas were reviewed, and the board requested Stewart refine a mock-up from the Marion County Record.
  • Holter presented new plans for a stage and bathrooms at Central Park. They would be slightly southeast of the current gazebo.
  • Holter reported Ace Hardware and Subway are targeting March openings.
  • MEDI paid $250 toward the Chingawassa Days billboard on U.S. 50 at Walton.

 

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