Housing Authority gathers for final 2017 meeting

Community

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Traver Aiken, executive director of the Blue Ridge Housing Authority, told Authority board members at their monthly meeting Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017, of the Blue Ridge City Council’s recent decision to allow the BRHA to forego remittance of its final 2016 Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) to the city.

At the city council’s Dec. 12 meeting, the council unanimously approved the PILOT abstention in the amount of $1,530.75 as a means to offset costs paid by the BRHA earlier this year to repair a retaining wall at its Boardtown Road property. Repairs to the wall were necessary after repairs to a failing sewer line located beneath the wall were completed. Ultimately, it was determined that the city was responsible for the sewer line.

In addition, Aiken informed the Authority the city would begin work to replace another sewer line located between the East First Street and East Second Street BRHA apartments sometime in January 2018.

Authority board member Bill Tilly expressed his appreciation to the city for the upcoming work but added, “It’s a shame that it took (the city council) a year and half to make this decision.”

Aiken also reported to the Authority that retained earnings were above projection for the year. According to Aiken, as of Nov. 30, the BRHA had $56,339.51 in actual retained earnings, which is almost $26,000 above the protected year-to-date estimate of $30,668.

Total operating income was also above projections for the year, Aiken stated. As of Nov. 30, the BRHA total operating income stood at $310,897.43, which is $27,611.43 above projection.

“It’s a combination of rent collection, increased rents, making sure that income is being properly reported, and then also collecting on outstanding debts that have been out there,” Aiken explained. “So we’re getting there. We’re making progress.”

Also, Aiken told the board members several site improvements projects were completed during 2017, including grounds beautification and the recent weather stripping upgrades at the residences.

“It’s not like we were just collecting the money and sitting on it,” Aiken added. “You can’t just say we’ve collected capital fund money and put it in operating and we’re good. We actually did capital improvements as well and still came out positive.”

Commenting on the weather stripping upgrades, resident board member Ellan Johnson stated, “You can tell a difference right away.”

Also, at the meeting, the Authority met briefly in executive session and, after reconvening, approved a resolution for the 2017 performance incentives for the BRHA maintenance and administration personnel.

Following this, Tilly expressed his appreciation for Aiken as well as the other board members by saying, “I appreciate everybody on this board. You all have done an excellent job this year. I appreciate everybody being here, and I appreciate the time everybody’s put in. I appreciate (Aiken) going to the city working (the sewer line issues) out. Things are rapidly improving over what they were three, four or five years ago.”

In the same vein, Johnson also told Aiken, “And the residents appreciate and respect you too for all the accommodations you (provided) us.”

“That means a lot to me,” Aiken responded. “The greatest compliment I get is from a resident.”

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

Blue Ridge City Council meeting slated for Tuesday

Uncategorized

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Blue Ridge City Council will address a number of agenda items at the final regularly scheduled meeting of the year Tuesday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Last month’s meeting was cancelled after three council members had to tend to other obligations and could not attend the meeting.

City Council Member Rhonda Thomas

According to the meeting agenda, Council Member Rhonda Thomas will present a second reading of the city’s amendment to the Electric Shuttle Bus Ordinance. After the reading, the council will vote whether or not to approve the amendment. Thomas is also scheduled to lead discussion about a potential parking deck for the downtown area.

The council will also address an application for the Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant (LMIG) for the city, which must be submitted by Dec. 31, 2017, to be eligible to receive potential LMIG funding for 2018.

Traver Aiken, executive director of the Blue Ridge Housing Authority, is scheduled to speak to the council concerning the prospect of waiving Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments to the city as reimbursement for the Authority’s costs to repair sewer lines on BRHA property earlier this year.

The council will also vote on Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) lease resolutions for the purchase of a vehicle for the Blue Ridge Police Department as well as a trackhoe excavator for the city water department.

Resolutions to apply for Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) grant money for future potential projects, including sewer system upgrades and a water meter replacement project, will also be addressed.

Several purchase invoices will be awaiting approval from the council at the meeting, including three from Carter & Sloope engineering firm, one from Johnson Paving and another from Fortiline Waterworks.

In public commentary, Cesar Martinez, local business owner and president of the Blue Ridge Business Association, is scheduled to address the council.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

 

Author

Jason Beck

Born in Merrillville, Indiana, raised in Cleveland, Tennessee, and currently resides in Copperhill, Tennessee. Graduated from Bradley Central High School in 1996 and attended the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, eventually earning a B.A. and M.A. in English. Hobbies include hiking, camping and fly-fishing. Interests include baseball, hockey and cliff jumping.

FetchYourNews.com - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

News - Videos - TV - Marketing - Website Design - Commercial Production - Consultation

Search

FetchYourNews.com - Citizen Journalists - A place to share “Your” work. Send us “Your” information or tips - 706.276.NEWs (6397) 706.889.9700 chief@FetchYourNews.com

Back to Top