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The Local Agenda: Gainesville, Hall win housing grants
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Hall County Government and the city of Gainesville are each getting $300,000 in grant money from the Community HOME Investment Program.

The money, provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and distributed by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, can be used by local governments to renovate occupied homes or assist first-time home buyers.

Gainesville will use its funds for both purposes said Chris Davis, the city’s housing program manager.

Davis estimates about nine eligible home buyers in selected areas of Gainesville will benefit from the funds through down payment assistance.

About eight Gainesville homeowners living in low-income areas will get help in home renovations dealing with code issues such as electric heating, air and plumbing.

“I think it’s a tremendous benefit to the low-income citizens of Gainesville,” Davis said. “They don’t have to finance them and it puts them in a safe environment.

Hall County grants manager Jessica Robinson said all of the county’s CHIP funds would go toward existing homeowner renovations in low-income areas of the county, expected to aid 11 to 12 households.

Interested Gainesville residents can ask about eligibility by calling Davis at 770-531-2693. Robinson, with Hall County, can be reached at 770-297-5503.

Gibbs loses bid to state board
Hall County Commissioner Scott Gibbs was hoping to give the county more sway in state legislative lobbying with a seat on the executive board of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

The ACCG, in addition to other services, lobbies on behalf of Georgia counties.

However, members of the Hall County Board of Commissioners said they were not impressed by the job of the association in this spring’s legislative session.

Commissioners expressed frustration in the passage of a tax reform bill they thought could hurt the county’s revenues.

Commissioners voted to send a letter to ACCG venting their frustrations that the organization did not keep them in the loop.

Gibbs told The Times that the organization largely represents the interests of counties smaller than Hall.

Hoping to get more sway, Gibbs earned a nomination to the executive board, which offers direction on the association’s priorities.

But the commissioner reported Monday that he lost out on the vote to get a seat on the board.

City Council to vote on New Holland Market sewer today
Gainesville City Council will vote today on a sewer extension to the proposed New Holland Market off Limestone and Jesse Jewell parkways, where a Greenville, S.C.-based developer wants to build a Kroger-anchored shopping center.

In exchange for getting hooked into the city’s sewers, developers must agree to be annexed into city limits.

That annexation comes before the Gainesville Planning and Appeals Board at 5:30 p.m. May 8.

As part of the sewer extension proposal, the city will pay up to $35,727.50 of the estimated $71,455 costs of the extension.

Aaron Hale covers government issues for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with him:
ahale@gainesvilletimes.com, facebook.com/TimesAaronHale, @HaleGainesTimes

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