GALLIPOLIS — Gallia County Administrator Karen Sprague and County Commissioner Harold Montgomery attended the Gallipolis City Commission meeting Tuesday evening to discuss ongoing grant procedures and to hold a public fair housing information meeting as part of those processes.
“The reason I’m here is because the City of Gallipolis received a CDBG (Community Development and Building) grant alongside the county’s grant to replace the culvert on Airport Road and to pave the road after the culvert is replaced,” said Sprague. “One of the requirements of CDBG, which is federal funding through HUD, is that we have a fair housing meeting in each community that receives funding. Fair housing laws are created to put an end to discriminatory practices in any activities related to housing. That act was created with the belief that every person has the right to purchase a home or obtain a mortgage on a home without being afraid of discrimination due to their membership of a certain class of people.”
Individuals protected by the mandate cannot be discriminated against considering their color, sex, country of origin, familial status, religion, handicap status or age. Sprague said Ohio recently added the age stipulation.
As an example, Sprague said that if a tenant became handicapped over the course of their lease with a property owner, the owner was obligated to assist in making the leased unit more easily accessible for the patron. However, any fixtures to assist the person could potentially be temporary and last over the course of the tenant’s lease.
As part of CHIP (Ohio Community Housing Impact and Preservatoin program) grant activities recently passed by Meigs and Gallia County, individuals meeting certain income thresholds may have the opportunity to also repair major structural issues with their homes due to a grant distributed to the counties in the form of $800,000.
The CDBG grant award for the Airport Road projected totaled around $61,500 with the county matching the grant at $$13,500. The city will have to utilize money it obtained from an Ohio Public Works Commission grant to make up some of the different in the project’s price. Overall, Sprague said the financial obligation of the city for the project should be nothing. The county is intending to make improvements to paving in the Gallia-Meigs Regional Airport area as part of the project as well.
The culvert’s replacement is part of efforts to alleviate flooding in the Eastern Avenue area.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.