Help is here for creating safe homesIf your income level is below 80 percent of the area’s median income, the Lake and Cook County Joint County Housing Initiative may be able to help you spruce up your home.
If your income level is below 80 percent of the area’s median income, the Lake and Cook County Joint County Housing Initiative may be able to help you spruce up your home.
Started a few years ago, the group secures grants from various resources to make area homes more livable by installing things such as new siding, furnaces and windows.
At the Lake County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, housing initiative administrator Nancy Grabko said the group received about $760,000 from various agencies such as Iron Range Resources and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency. That helped fund improvements on 13 houses in Lake County.
During the last year the group has also negotiated a new housing rehabilitation service agreement with the Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency that will assure a coordinated and efficient delivery of housing rehabilitation services in the two-county service area.
The Lake and Cook housing program, through the Minnesota Small Cities Development Program, has funding to establish a deferred loan program within the two-county service area. If a person qualifies, they may receive a deferred loan. It doesn’t have to be repaid unless you sell, transfer title or move from the property within 10 years.
Total gross annual income must not exceed eligible amounts based upon number of household occupants, which includes income from all members of your household who are 18 years of age and older.
The building must be a permanent structure. Manufactured homes are not eligible unless they are taxed as real property. It will also help if the property is in an area targeted for improvements.
If you are interested in having your home becoming more livable, applications can be picked up at the Mary MacDonald Center in Silver Bay and from your township supervisor or by calling Grabko at (218) 244-7251. Applications are served on a first-come first-serve basis.
Wait on funds continues
County Commissioner Paul Bergman said he has not heard yet, on whether the county-wide broadband project will get funded in the first round of funding through the Rural Utilities Service. He said Cook County’s broadband project was denied in the first round.
No plow zone
The board passed a resolution stating the county will not plow any private driveways beginning next winter. There was a discussion last week about county plow drivers doing work on private driveways in Finland. There is a plan in place for county employees to plow out driveways in case of emergencies, but some say that hasn’t been the case. Some commissioners felt the system was being abused.
Fall Lake tower
The board passed a resolution authorizing the chairman to sign a lease agreement with AT&T for the placement of a cell phone tower on county tax forfeit land in Fall Lake Township. There are also plans to have a cell phone tower placed in Finland. There are no construction permits for either of the projects.
The board passed a resolution to spend $2,000 to help with the application process to make Lake County a foreign trade zone. A business can use the zone to reduce duty payments.