City council on Tuesday approved on first reading a $250,000 general obligation bond that will go toward building the homes on Elm and Congress streets.
OEDC Executive Director Sara Andrews explained that loan will be repaid from the sale of the homes, the same way it was with the homes on Pearl and School streets.
She says construction on the first home should start next month. Two others should start later in the summer. The fourth may not be built until next year.
“It’s great to see some new construction going up in the city – that people can come in and buy a new home,” said Councilman Fred Proper.
Andrews added that a study done concerning the homes on Pearl and School streets showed that the taxes collected from the new homes is 217 percent higher than the taxes collected from the old homes that were there.
She added that the homes also provide affordable housing opportunities in the community. “It’s better housing, much better housing,” said Mayor Tom Riel. “The tax amount might have doubled, but the quality more than doubled.”
Also Tuesday, council approved a payment of $9,000 to Tom Vickery for emergency demolition of 3-5 Main Street, where bricks on the back of the building collapsed several weeks ago, causing a safety hazard.