Lawrence officials OK funds to make homes accessible

By Mary Grzebieniak


Lawrence County commissioners approved giving $10,000 to help make three houses handicapped-accessible during the coming summer housing-rehabilitation program run by a private group, His Hands Ministry.

Commissioners said at their meeting Tuesday that the money will come from Act 137 funds, which are derived from a fee charged for deeds recorded by the county. The handicap-accessible project will be done in conjunction with Lawrence County Social Services.

In addition, commissioners have approved $10,000 for the ministry’s summer community-volunteer project to repair and spruce up homes and $15,000 for similar work by a group called Carpenter’s Project.

Also Tuesday, they approved refinancing a debt shared by the county, Union Township and Union Area Schools for a Tax Increment Financing District formed in 1995 to help put sewer lines and other improvements on the land on U.S. Route 224 where Walmart and the Union Square Plaza now stand. The financing had been obtained with the three entities promising repayment from additional taxes imposed on the property once it was developed. The current amount owed on the initial $1.3 million loan at 7.5 percent interest is $528,110, and full repayment is scheduled for October 2015. The new interest rate was not available Tuesday, but officials said “several thousand” dollars would be saved annually with the refinancing.

Commissioners also announced they will not meet May 17 because of the primary election.

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