Before a packed house, with citizens standing in the lobby members of the Plymouth Common Council had several important decisions to make during last night’s meeting.
The council was asked to appropriate $2 million from the Rainy Day Fund, $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Club and $150,000 for the South Gateway housing project.
During the public hearing Rex Crump representing the Housing Providers Association asked for an explanation of the $1.5 million for the housing project.
City Attorney Sean Surrisi said the project is part of the Regional Cities Initiative. An area developer is interested in building 3 buildings with 20 apartments in each one on the former Cook Brother’s property and a couple other lots in the South Gateway. The total project is expected to cost $11.5 million. Funding for the Regional Cities Initiative is 20% local matching funds, 20% Regional Cities Initiative and 60% private money.
George Schricker spoke against the development noting the scale of the development seems to large for the space, that there hasn’t been much opportunity for the public to comment on the planned development and his concern with the ownership ratio in the community raising even higher.
Also speaking against was Frank Filson. Filson provided council members with a list of questions including additional costs to the city for the development, projected rental fees, the possibility of a tax abatement, was a traffic study completed, who is expected to live in the apartments and what is the projected economic return to tax payers to name a few.
After hearing the comments the Plymouth Common Council voted 4 to 2 in favor of the additional with Gary Cook and Shiloh Fonseca voting against.
The next additional was $500,000 for the Boys and Girls Club building project.
Committee member Dan Schmelter said the added value will benefit the community as well as helping the kids by providing a safe haven after school and in the summer. He said this project will grow our citizens for the future.
A volunteer with the club asked the council to endorse the project. He said it meets the needs of a lot of parents who need the help.
Shannon King has 3 kids that attend the club. He said the proposed project was an excellent project that will open allow them to open it up for more kids to attend.
Bill Walters said, “As a tax paying citizen this investment in our youth is an investment in our community.”
The City Council voted 5 to 1 for the $500,000 additional appropriation. Mike Delp was the lone no vote. He commented, “I fully support the Boys and Girls Club. I just don’t support the $500,000 amount. I would have felt better with $250,000 to $300,000.”
The Common Council also approved appropriating the Community Crossings grant money and local match. The city will put $444,577 from the Rainy Day Fund and the $555,423 into the line item with the $911,401 from the grant making a total of $2 million for road and bridge projects.