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|Knox County Housing Authority Receiving $1.1 Million in Federal Stimulus Funding
|Capital improvement projects and other work for Knox County Housing Authority properties that had to be put off in the past will now get done, thanks to an infusion of money from the federal government.
17th District Congressman Phil Hare visited Galesburg Saturday to discuss more than $1.1 million that's been made available to the Knox County Housing Authority from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The breakdown of the money includes nearly $97,000 for Moon Towers, $72,000 for Blue Bell Tower in Abingdon and more than $858,000 for the authority's scattered sites.
Various projects that range from security upgrades to improvements at the housing complexes and apartments are planned over the authority's next five fiscal years. Hare also made stops Saturday in Monmouth, Macomb and Canton to announce federal funding for housing authorities in those areas.
The federal government designates specifically how the money is supposed to be spent. Margie Hulick, Knox County Housing Authority Executive Director, says officials put together a five-year plan with the goal of having the funding benefit both the housing authority and the community. Hulick says the government is placing a big emphasis on occupied units.
"Curve appeal has become increasingly important along with people to want to have the desire to take advantage in our area of our housing authorities, so we're trying to make all improvements possible to make it as accessible and as desireable, I guess, as can be."
Those improvements include things like redesigning patios and entryways at Moon Towers. A number of projects that will be paid for with the stimulus money have had to be put off because of some expensive repairs in the past. Officials say the entire boiler systems at Moon Towers and Blue Bell Tower have been replaced - a contract that cost one-million dollars - and elevators at Moon were either replaced or modified, which was another million dollar expense.
Hare says Public Housing Authorities are often the largest providers of affordable housing, but they've also been a frequent target of federal funding cuts. He says PHA's received $6.7 billion less in federal dollars than they needed to operate between the years of 2000 and 2006.
Knox County Housing Authority - Moon Towers in Galesburg
Congressman Phil Hare discusses the federal stimulus money that's been approved for the Knox County Housing Authority during a press conference at Moon Towers
Knox County Housing Authority Executive Director Margie Hulick talks about the authority's five-year plan to spend the federal stimulus it's receiving
Lomac Payton, chairman of the Knox County Housing Authority Board of Commissioners, listens during a press conference to announce federal stimulus money for the authority
Federal Economic Recovery Funding to area public housing authorities:
Knox County Housing Authority
Warren County Housing Authority
Housing Authority of the County of McDonough
Fulton County Housing Authority
(WGIL news story and photos by Mike Perry)
|05 16 09 by Newsroom
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