A resolution was passed that allows the city to provide assistance on down payments for first-time home buyers up to $10,000 through the CHIP grant. CHIP Applicants will have to sign off on certifications verifying the accuracy of income data used to document their eligibility to participate. The program also will work with lending institutions and real estate agents to locate and secure existing homes eligible for CHIP use.
The council opened up a discussion topic regarding the potential for a community garden to be built on property along Old Mill Road that the city has purchased. If approved in an upcoming meeting, the garden could be installed in spring 2012.
In 2010, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs designated Less Developed Census Tracts. According to Melinda Lemmon, Department of Economic Development executive director, the designation is beneficial to certain qualified businesses manufacturers, warehouse/distribution, telecommunications, broadcasting, R&D, and tourism that create more than 5 new jobs. Lemmon said the reason the designation was granted originally stemmed from the 927 workers that were "dislocated" as a result of the closures of Mohawk Industries, Trinity Rail Group and Wheeler's Building Supply. The council approved to make the tracts eligible for an extension request through 2012.
The city also approved the purchase of rescue equipment for the fire department and the installation of a gas line for the new student center at Georgia Highlands College. Public Works Director Bobby Elliott requested drainage structure repairs at the intersection of West Avenue and Etowah Drive, one of the busiest intersections within city limits. The council approved the bid for the repairs along with asset management software for the water department.