By NATHAN GREGORY
The Starkville Board of Aldermen will consider authorizing the Golden Triangle Planning and Development District to prepare and submit a HOME Investment Partnerships Program grant application during its 5:30 p.m. meeting tonight at City Hall.
HOME is a federal block grant provided to state and local governments designated to establish and rehabilitate affordable residences or low-income households. The program is authorized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grant requires that participating jurisdictions match 25 cents of every dollar in program funds.
The board approved the application process last year for the same grant. The city has yet to be accepted for any HOME grant funding.
Mayor Parker Wiseman said he hopes this will be the year the city gets approved.
“It’s a grant program through the Mississippi Development Authority. We have applied for the past two years and have not been selected, although I feel like were very close last year. I hope the third time will be the charm and we’ll be selected this year. The grant program provides for reconstruction of up to five homes that are in dilapidated condition, which helps to ease conditions of blight throughout the city and also helps provide an opportunity for home owners to have a new home that is no longer in dilapidated condition,” Wiseman said. “We will accept applications from city residents who feel their home might qualify for the program. After we receive such applications we will work with (GTPDD) to put forward the most competitive applications possible. The staff at (GTPDD) works with cities and counties throughout the districts each year to prepare applications for the program, so they are very knowledgable as to which home projects best meet the criteria of the program and will make our application most competitive.”
In other board business, Mississippi State University Student Affairs President Shelby Balius and Associate Director for Programs Jackie Mullen will make a public appearance requesting the city’s participation with street closings and in-kind services for the 2012 edition of Bulldog Bash tentatively scheduled for Nov. 2.
Estimated costs for city in-kind services are $8,493.03. The special event application calls for the city to close a portion of University Drive as well as several Cotton District side streets, while stating event setup would start at 2 a.m. Nov. 2 and teardown would be complete by 6 a.m. the next day.
The board will also consider hiring a finance director/city clerk in its meeting. The board interviewed 10 selected applicants last week in a special meeting at the Sportsplex July 10.
The eventual appointee will replace former city clerk Markeeta Outlaw, who retired June 1.
The pay scale for the position will be a salary grade 18, which has a range from $63,684 to $84,755. This is three steps up from the previous salary grade of 15. The board approved of the upgrade before advertising for Outlaw’s successor in order to have the potential for a more competitive and qualified candidate pool. The board opted to change the description of the title from city clerk to director of finance/city clerk in April.
Wiseman said it’s very possible the board could make a decision tonight.
“The board has now heard from all the candidates that were selected to go through the interview process, and they’ll take that matter up in discussion tonight.,” he said.
The meeting will begin at 5:30 in the city hall courtroom.