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Ortonville: Neighborhood Stabilization Program

December 23, 2009 - Ortonville- Two blighted homes in the village were recently demolished and will soon be replaced with new homes.

Homes located at 61 Narrin St. and 174 Ball St. were torn down late last month as part of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The federal program established in October 2008 provides grants to counties, which in turn approve funds for local municipalities to acquire properties for demolition or rehabilitation purposes.

"We are moving along as planned," said Ed Coy, the former village manager who retired in September, but continues to oversee the NSP in the village. "We have chosen a design for homes on these locations."

Each home will measure about 1,500 square feet. The home on Ball Street will be a ranch, while the home planned for Narrin Street will be a 2-story. Bids for construction were opened Dec. 18 and Coy said they are being checked out to make sure the low bidder has the proper licenses, qualifications and has bid everything that was required.

"We will probably award a contract the first week in January and construction will likely begin by the end of January," Coy said.

Contractors will have until Oct. 1 to fiinish construction of the homes, which will be put for sale at cost, according to the rules of the NSP grant. The Narrin Street home must be sold to a family who earns less than 50 percent of the area median income, while the Ball Street home will go to a family who earns 120 percent of the median income. Financial assistance will be available for purchase of the homes and village officials plan to have one or two seminars to explain the NSP application process.

The village is still waiting to close on the purchase of the home at 21 Church St., which they want to demolish, but because the lot is too small, it will not be rebuilt. The village can either sell the property to the neighbors, or keep it as a village property and maintain it.

There are no other plans to purchase decrepit homes in the village. Coy noted that NSP money needs to be committed by March 31, so there is not enough time to look into the purchase of other homes.

The building of the homes on Narrin and Ball streets is good for the village, Coy said. "It puts some folks to work," he said. "Maybe it will stimulate more building in the community."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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