City voices support for linear park

LaGRANGE – The city council committed $300,000 for a linear park on Whitesville Road next to the Benjamin Harvey Hill Homes on Tuesday, a financial endorsement that will be taken into consideration when the LaGrange Housing Authority applies for tax credit to build the park later this year.

The housing authority applied for a tax credit in order to build the park and rehabilitate both the Benjamin Harvey Hill Homes and Lucy Morgan Homes last year, but due to the highly competitive nature of the process, other groups won out. The city’s re-commitment to fund the project if it wins the credit will serve to support the housing authority’s reapplication this year. The Callaway Foundation has also put forth support for the project.

“LaGrange Housing Authority and Vantage Development are in the process of presenting a 9 percent tax credit application and in the overall process of trying to redevelop – either rehab or new construction – of 420 units with the LaGrange Housing Authority,” said Paul Robinson, a developer with Vantage Development, who emphasized how important the city’s support is to the application.

A major part of the application process for the tax credit is for the housing authority to have public meetings with officials and community members to communicate what changes they think would best serve the community as a whole, and Tuesday’s meeting was just one part of that process.

“We are transforming the communities, but something that we have to do is we have to have public hearings,” said Zsa Zsa Heard, director of the LaGrange Housing Authority. “We have to inform the city on how we are transforming the communities where we are, and we have to tell you about the plans and how we plan to do that transformation plan.”

The city also plans to vote on community designations for the Benjamin Harvey Hill and Lucy Morgan neighborhoods in the near future, but the city required more information before they could officially endorse that project.

The city council is scheduled to meet again on April 25 at 5:30 p.m. at 208 Ridley Ave.

Reach Alicia B. Hill at alicia.hill@lagrangenews.com or at 706-884-7311, Ext. 2154.

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