Apr. 8—The Owensboro Citizens Advisory Committee will hold a hearing Thursday, April 8, for the public to review and make comments on the city’s proposed revitalization projects for the next fiscal year.

The city’s focus will remain on the northwest side, where officials propose using federal grants for a number of projects, including making funds available for home improvements, providing dollars to eligible first-time home-buyers and providing rental assistance.

The meeting on the Annual Action Plan will be at 3 p.m. It can be viewed live on the city’s Facebook page or at www.owensboro.org.

The Annual Action Plan identifies specific projects the city plans to undertake with federal Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investments Partnership Program money.

The proposed action plan focuses mainly on the Northwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, which includes the areas of Walnut Street to the east, West Fifth Street to the south, Ewing Road in the west and the city limits at the Ohio River to the north.

“Our main focus is on affordability of home ownership,” Community Development Director Abby Shelton said Wednesday.

Between 1999 and 2020, redevelopment projects have been completed in BaptistTown, along the “Triplett Twist,” in the Old Germantown District and the Mechanicsville neighborhoods. The Action Plan says those projects resulted in $35 million in public and private investment.

The Northwest NRSA is the main focus due to the lack of housing for sale or lease in the area, which limits its ability to attract investment, according to the draft report.

Some of the proposed projects include spending about $119,000 on beautification projects like sidewalk and street enhancements, landscaping crosswalks and downspout removal. CDBG grants would also be made available to qualifying homeowners in the northwest district for exterior repairs. Almost $600,000 is planned to assist existing businesses to make exterior improvements in the Northwest NRSA and Triplett Twist.

Assistance for first-time homebuyers will available through HOME dollars for eligible homebuyers, based on income. The homeowner funds would be available for homes in the Northwest NRSA, Old Germantown, Mechanicsville, the Triplett Twist and for homes in the city of Owensboro Opportunity Map.

The plan also has funds for rent assistance. Those funds would come from money from the CARES Act, which was approved last year.

“I’m still waiting for the contracts from the government to go ahead and use those funds,” Shelton said.

Applications for individual grants will be posted online, and the grants will be awarded on a “first-come, first-served” basis, Shelton said.

The plan has to be submitted by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development by May 8, and will have to be approved by city commissioners before being submitted to HUD.

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, [email protected], Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, [email protected], Twitter: @JamesMayse

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