A community development “add-on” program that brought construction and rehabilitation to additional homes in the Russell Street and Pugh Road areas is being officially completed, with a public hearing Monday another step toward officially closing out the program.
Just this past September, the city awarded bids for the rehabilitation of one housing unit on Pugh Road and the construction of two housing units on Russell Street as part of its Community Development Block Grant Grant (CDBG) funding. In November, several more bids were awarded for the rehabilitation of three houses on Pugh Road and the construction of another on Russell Street as part of the Pugh Road CDBG (add-on) project.
CDBG project administrator Chip Bartlett told Council Monday that two dilapidated homes were demolished and two homes built as part of the process. Another private residence was rehabilitated, and there were two others still ongoing.
“There are two rehabs under way that should be completed by the end of this month,” Bartlett said. “They are just completing the odds and ends.”
Monday’s public hearing was held as a requirement to the 2008 CDBG Russell Street/Pugh Road project, in order to review the budget and activities accomplished through the add-on program.
Through the 2008 Russell Street project, approximately $1 million in CDBG funding was spent to provide adequate housing and infrastructure to households in the neighborhood. Dilapidated houses were demolished, replaced and renovated as part of the project, including two residents who were relocated to city-owned properties at Williams Street, where new homes were built. Russell Street saw eight homes rehabilitated and two relocated as part of that project, which also brought water upgrades and better sewer service.
With program activities nearing completion and the city in the process of closing out the program, interested citizens were encouraged to give comments, however no one spoke.
In related business, the Council rescinded two resolutions of intent to annex properties in the Russell Street, Pugh Road and N.C. 403 areas.
City manager John Connet said, following further examination of the new annexation laws, staff believed the city should attempt to annex the area through a property owner-initiated process.
In addition to housing rehabbing and construction, close to $240,000 in grant funding encompassed water and sewer improvements in the Pugh Road and Russell Street area. That has included the installation of a new water and sanitary sewer lines and all associated work to connect the target area to an existing sewer tributary and pump station that currently serves business located on N.C. 403 (Faison Highway) and residences along Russell Street.
The water line completes a loop in the city water system from an existing 8-inch line in Pugh Road to the 6-inch line in the 2008 Russell Street target area.
“We believe if we attempt to annex these areas, we might have some difficulties,” noted Connet. “We are going to approach property owners and ask them to voluntarily annex.”
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at email@example.com.