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The renovation of West Perry Street was the main topic of discussion at the Owenton City Council meeting Dec. 2.
Brian Kirby, president of Community and Economic Development Associates, told the council of several new changes in the project guidelines.
Under the changes, which were adopted by the council, once the city has obtained the West Perry properties in question, the lots will be cleared and made suitable for building. The lots will then be made available for public sale.
Under the previous guidelines, the properties would have been earmarked for lower- and middle-income families. Now the property will be made available to the general public.
Buyers will be given two years to build a home on the lots.
If the buyer fails to build a home on the lot within two years, the purchase price will be returned and the title to the property will revert back to the city.
Under the project, many of the houses on West Perry Street could be demolished.
For a house to avoid demolition, it must have a strong foundation, no major electrical problems, and be structurally sound.
If the houses do not meet these basic requirements, they will be demolished; and the owners will receive market value for their properties.
West Perry residents currently renting homes will be relocated to “decent, safe and sanitary places,” Kirby said.
“I think it will work in their favor,” Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier said. “They will be relocated with no cost.”
The council agreed to set aside $10,000 for new sidewalks on West Perry, and $20,000 from the project budget will go toward potential legal fees.
Incoming council member Rita Osborne, who lives on West Perry, will recuse herself from any votes on the project because of a potential conflict of interest.
There will be a public meeting concerning the West Perry Street renovation project at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 18 at Owenton City Hall.
Council member Doris Ann Riley hopes for a good turnout.
“Each individual will be a different scenario,” Riley said. “I hope each one will come forward and let it be known to us how they feel and not hold back.”
In other action, the Owenton Fire Department was awarded $27,000 by Homeland Security for new radios.