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City council to consider ‘roadmap’ for housing plan

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After making the rounds of five of the city’s committees, a program that would give city property to developers building affordable housing will go before the full Roswell City Council for a possible go-ahead to proceed Thursday night.

The meeting will be 6 p.m. Thursday in Meeting Room A of the Roswell Convention and Civic Center, 912 N. Main.

The public is encouraged to participate electronically through virtual meeting platform GoToMeeting. From a computer, tablet or smartphone the meeting can be accessed at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/815060573, or by calling 669-224-3412 and using access code 815-060-573.

Resolution 20-54 would give conceptual approval of the housing program if passed. Bill Morris, community development manager, said that was a step that would help keep city staff from putting in too many hours to complete the project only to have issues arise later.

The program was introduced to city councilors through five of the city’s standing committees, starting with the Public Safety Committee in July. It was then presented to the General Services, Legal, Infrastructure and Finance committees.

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Before the program is fully in place, changes would need to be made to city codes regarding utility fees and building regulations, and policy developed for the permitting process, Morris said.

“What we’re trying to do is get you comfortable with the framework, the roadmap,” Morris told Finance Committee members last week.

Morris said the city is vetting the properties it owns to determine which would be best suited for single-family or multi-family units to help fill a need for affordable housing.

He said currently, about 50 new housing units a year is average.

“It’s not keeping up with demand and also the loss of older housing,” he said.

He said it would also replace housing lost in the Clean and Safe Program, which removes derelict structures. He said almost 300 units to date have been removed.

Other action items on Thursday’s agenda include approval of proposed admission fees for the Roswell Museum and Art Center. The RMAC Board of Trustees and General Services Committee previously recommended the fees drawn up by the museum staff.

Under the proposal, admission for those 16 and older would be $10. Discounts would be applied for students, seniors and active military and veterans. Free admission would apply for those 15 and under, museum members and school groups. Free days for Roswell residents and seniors are also included in the plan.

If approved, the admission fees would go into effect Jan. 1. It would be the first time in the museum’s 83-year history it would charge admission. The museum has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic since March, but the city has tentative plans for a limited reopening later this month.

The city council will also consider approving a real estate purchase agreement for land at the Roswell Air Center to Ergon Asphalt and Emulsions. The actual sale of the property will have to be approved through a resolution, and the council will consider Thursday approving a public hearing and vote on that resolution at a later date.

The council will also consider approval of public hearings and votes on proposed ordinances that would modify city code regarding camping, campgrounds and nuisances.

The council will also consider Mayor Dennis Kintigh’s recommendation of Justin Jones for Position 2 of the Occupancy Tax Board and a change order for the North Garden Street bridge project.

A closed session is scheduled to discuss purchase or disposal of property or water rights at the air center.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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