City Council meets

About $1,000 in grant money remains available through the city’s Residential Exterior Improvement program. The City of Milton Common Council approved on Aug. 6 a seventh grant, issued using funds from the program.

A $3,990 grant was awarded to John Van Horn, 523 Golden Lane, for the purpose of concrete driveway replacement. A submitted estimate showed a full project cost of $7,980.

In a memo to council, City Administrator Al Hulick wrote that on June 24, the city’s Community Development Authority met and reviewed “four additional applications.” The committee then forwarded a favorable recommendation to council for the project on Golden Lane.

On July 17, Hulick wrote, the city’s Joint Review Board met to review the application, required because the property is within one-half mile of Tax Incremental Financing District (TID) No. 7. A favorable recommendation came from the review board as well.

With approval of this grant, the Residential Exterior Improvement program would likely close for 2019, Hulick said. Future applicants looking to fund projects this year will be informed that only $1,053.67 remains available through the program, he said.

The city is looking to continue the program next year, at which time another $25,000 will become available for grants, he added.

Council member Larry Laehn suggested council might look at increasing the amount of funds allocated to the program next year.

Hulick noted that funding for the program comes entirely through tax incremental financing. Increasing funds offered, or restructuring the program, might mean using money from the city’s general fund, he said, which is funded through taxpayer dollars.

Hulick noted that while the program had been a success, some learning in administering the program had taken place.

“There could be some changes on some things,” he said, adding that a schedule to reopen the program next year would likely begin in December or January.

Council approved the 50-percent matching grant program last February and capped annual funding at $25,000, to be awarded on a first-come, first-served, basis. Individual awards are capped at $5,000.

The program applies to residential properties within specified TIDs or within a half-mile of their boundaries.

Eligible homes must be over 25 years old, owned or occupied by the homeowner for at least five years, and have an assessed value that is not over 125 percent of the average assessed value of homes within the city.

Stipulated at the time of its approval, the program can expire under the following conditions: expenditure of the allocated TID project funds unless council authorized additional funding; the expiration of the allowable TID expenditure period, or a decision made by council to eliminate or amend the program.

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