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Tag Archive | "Inner City Christian Federation"

City Council vetoes donating or selling property to ICCF


 

sw-riconcBy Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs City Council voted down a proposal to donate 174 Pine Street, a city-owned lot, to Inner City Christian Federation, who was hoping to build another affordable home in the community for a family in need.

The ICCF is already building a house at 40 E. Maple, and recently purchased a lot on Cedar Street as well.

ICCF proposed to build a two-story house on the double lot. The lot is assessed at $20,000, and ICCF said that they were willing to purchase it for $10,000. City Manager recommended that they either donate the property to ICCF or sell it for $10,000. John Witmer, who represented ICCF at the meeting, said they had it in the budget, but a donation would be appreciated, and the money would just be put back into a better product.

In a presentation just previous to the ICCF proposal at the meeting, Kurt Mabie, president of the Community Building Development Team, had said he was no longer interested in 174 Pine Street for the CBDT, since they had closed on the Fifth Street property. He did mention, however, that he knew of a builder who might be interested in building senior no-step residences in that area.

Pam Conley asked if someone else was coming before the Council that night with plans for that lot, and Mabie said no.

The City’s master plan calls for senior housing in the mixed use area, and there currently is none. This lot, however, is not in the mixed use area.

Councilor Dan Clark said he wasn’t ready to make a decision, he thought they should look at the master plan. Councilor Perry Hopkins said he was with Dan, that he thought it would be better to gamble and follow through with the master plan of having some senior housing. Councilor Bob Truesdale said his heart was divided. He’d like to see them (ICCF) have it, yet he’d also like to see some senior housing.

Councilor Molly Nixon felt that it would be best to donate it to someone who already had a plan, to get some money back on the property. Taylor said taxes would be about $2,290 and the city would see $900 of that.

In the end, the motion to donate the property was voted down 3 to 4. Voting in favor was Councilors Powell, Conley and Nixon, and against was Councilors Clark, Hall, Hopkins and Truesdale.

You can view the City Council meeting on their website at www.cityofcedarsprings.org.

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Vacant lot to get new life


Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

Digging began this week on a new house to be built at 40 E. Maple. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

 

A lot with historical significance in the City of Cedar Springs, but has sat vacant for five years, is getting a new lease on life.

On February 7, 2010, a once beautiful and elegant old house that had been turned into apartments was destroyed by fire. The house at 40 E. Maple, located on the southwest corner of Maple and First, had long ago been the home of Sally Wall, who for years had sewn the city’s famous Red Flannels both in her home, and then later, in her remodeled barn next door at 36 E. Maple (which is now the Cedar Springs Post).

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

The previous house at 40 E. Maple was destroyed in a fire five years ago. Post photo by J. Reed.

When the house burned, in the wee hours of the morning, it was a total loss, and what didn’t burn was torn down. There were a few inquiries into the lot; but nothing serious until last year, when Inner City Christian Federation, an organization similar to Habitat for Humanity, decided it would be a good lot to build a home on for someone who needed it. Their mission is to “provide housing opportunities and services that encourage family responsibility and independence, thereby helping to build stable communities.”

“I like to call us Habitat on steroids,” joked Don Fredricks, Construction Volunteer and Special Projects Coordinator for ICCF. He also happens to be a licensed builder. “We have a whole education department that they go through,” he explained. He said potential homeowners are educated in home maintenance, how to manage credit, family values, etc. “They have to know the why and how to take care of a home,” he added.

N-40-E-Maple-blueprint-3The house will be a three-bedroom, two-story home, similar to others in the area. The house will face Maple Street, with the driveway off First. Digging out the basement began this week.

“We really wanted to start this last year, but it didn’t work out,” said Fredricks.

He said that with the cold weather, the first few stages would be subcontracted out instead of using volunteers. “We will be subcontracting the framing, roofing, siding, mechanical, electrical and heating work. With this cold weather, we need to make sure it’s done correctly.”

Volunteers will be needed when they start on the trim, carpentry, painting, landscaping, etc. If anyone would like to volunteer for that, they are welcome to call Fredricks at (616) 336-9333. He said they are shooting to be done by the end of June, or the end of August. “The way our financing works, the owner has to be working at the time, and since she works for a school, she doesn’t work during the summer,” he explained.

The owner of the home will be a single mom who lives in the area. Fredricks said there is definitely a need in the area for this type of housing.

“The County has been after us for years to do in the rural community what we normally do in the inner city,” he explained. The catch is that the community has to have city water and sewer, so it can’t be just anywhere. They also built a few homes in the City of Lowell several years ago. “Cedar Springs and Lowell both seem to be the two communities that could really use this,” he noted.

They are also looking at a city-owned lot on Pine Street. That will still have to be approved by the City Council, however. City Manager Thad Taylor said it would be taken up at the next City Council meeting.

 

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