The city of Owensboro is preparing to take on its next revitalization project for the next five years: the northwest neighborhood.
Abby Shelton, community development director, unveiled several details about the upcoming revitalization effort during a Citizen Advisory Committee meeting Monday.
Down payment assistance, exterior rehabilitation of homes and general beautification are some suggested projects the city can undertake for the next half-decade.
“We all know that when you leave downtown and kind of hit the Walnut Street area, we’re in a different world,” she said. “So we want to focus on that.”
The proposed boundaries of the new revitalization district, which is named the Northwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area, will include the areas of Walnut Street in the east, West Fifth Street in the south, Ewing Road in the west and the city limits at the Ohio River in the north.
Owensboro is hoping to improve the area with federal money through the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnerships Program, which are both managed by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and are used to build or beautify structures. Owensboro used the same federal programs for the Triplett Twist district revitalization efforts, which began in 2015 and will end in June.
The city hopes to get more than $7 million in private and public money to improve the section of town, which is projected to increase the property values in the area by about $2 million at the end of the five years.
According to a presentation by Shelton, the Northwest Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area is home to more than 700 single-family homes and more than 80 commercial buildings.
Numerous property owners and residents were in attendance at Monday’s meeting.
While some public comments pertained to questions about the revitalization efforts and educating the public about the upcoming programs, at least one Owensboro property manager was looking forward to the changes to the neighborhood.
“It’s a rough neighborhood. “I’ve had to replace windows that were shot out. I’ve had to call the cops” to have people kicked out of houses that were squatting, said one attendee who refused to give his identity.
In order to receive federal funding, a Consolidated Plan must be submitted to HUD. The Consolidated Plan is the framework for the next five years. The Consolidated Plan is accompanied by an Annual Action Plan, which provides a summary of the revitalization efforts on a year-to-year basis.
The city has facilitated about $35 million of federal and private money in revitalizing numerous neighborhoods since 2000, including Mechanicsville, Old Germantown District and the Baptisttown neighborhoods.
The city plans to submit the Consolidated and Annual Action Plan to HUD on May 8.
Shelton will present both plans to the city commission during a March 10 work session. Residents can send verbal and written comments about possible improvements to Shelton at 270-687-8658 or sheltonam@ owensboro.org.
Trey Crumbie, 270-691-7297, email@example.com.