Murray said she approved the request and has added the Habitat funding issue to her agenda for Monday’s council meeting.
Haas’ requests were for:
• All grant applications filed by or on behalf of the City of Portsmouth in calendar year 2010;
• Contract(s), purchase order(s), work order(s) or other documentation relating to the work, scope of work, location of the system, specifications of the system, system purpose, need and cost for the sewer level warning system installed at or near Grandview Avenue and 23rd Streets, and;
• Copies of all documents, correspondence, notes, communications (written or recorded), applications, and other items reflecting the date, time or manner of contact by the Mayor, her staff and/or Community Development Department with Habitat for Humanity relating in any manner to 1310 Franklin Ave., Portsmouth, from January 2010 to present.
Haas said he and other councilmen have not been getting communications from the Mayor’s office.
“In the past, usually Council has been kept up to speed on what’s going on and what we might look forward to as far as grants and what not. But there has been no communication,” Haas said Wednesday.
Haas said the lack of communication has made it difficult to plan for next year’s budget.
“I receive no information at all from the Mayor’s office,” Haas said. “I can’t remember the last, other than the Council packets, the last item, phone call or whatever that has come from the Mayor’s office with respect to what is going on.”
Haas said he has been waiting a long time for the city to provide funds earmarked for Habitat for Humanity. According to Habitat officials, there has been $20,000 in the city’s Revolving Loan Fund since Jennifer Hanlon was development director — about 2008 — that can’t be spent for anything else, and is needed for a project on Franklin Avenue.
“I found an e-mail from back in January, when they were trying to get this Franklin Avenue project moving, and Rusty Miller, of the Habitat board, e-mailed me and asked what needed to be done to get this moving,” Haas said. “I told him I didn’t think anyone would object, but I think you have to deal with the Mayor’s office. And it has been 11 months, and they (Habitat) have done everything they need to do and they just can’t get the mayor to put it on the conference agenda to get the legislation approved.”
Murray announced Wednesday that Habitat will receive two financial awards from the city. The first is $20,000 from the City’s Revolving Loan Fund, which will be on the Mayor’s conference agenda at the Nov. 22 City Council meeting.
The city also has received funding for a Community Housing Improvement Program grant. Murray said she has committed $40,000 to assist Habitat to build two single-family houses in the Mound Park area to begin in January 2011.
“Habitat for Humanity thanks the mayor for all her hard work on behalf of Habitat in helping us reach our mission statement of eliminating poverty housing, one family at a time,” said Laura Walker, co-president of Scioto County Habitat for Humanity. “These funds from the Revolving Loan Fund will go a long way in realizing this vision. The Gambill family will be ecstatic to hear we are ready to start on the Franklin Avenue house, and we invite the community to come out and give us a hand.”
Murray said she had planned to walk the legislation on at the last regular City Council meeting but several things, including her having to be at the recall petitions hearing at the Board of Elections, kept that from happening.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.