You could have a much prettier drive through one Wiregrass neighborhood soon. Ozark is holding public hearings to get input and support before applying for a $450,000.
Neighbors around Parker Street are frustrated. “This area is like the City of Ozark just forgot about it,” said Joyce Faniel. “The houses over there are dilapidated, the people have died. Their relatives don’t have the money to fix it up and repair them,” she said.
But this Community Development Block Grant that the City of Ozark is applying for, might ease that frustration.
Diana Flentory said, “I think it’ll be a good idea because it is mostly elderly in the area and they can’t afford to have repairs on their homes themselves so the grant would help out a great deal.”
More than $200,000 of the grant will go towards multiple home improvements; 90 percent will be covered. The owner only picks up the remaining 10 percent.
Jonathan Cordell, Building Official said, “That’s a very good deal for them”
The rest of the $450,000 dollar grant would go to fixing up the sewer system back from the 1960’s off Martin Luther King Junior Avenue, on Noah Circle. And even though their have been no reports of damage caused by sewage back ups, they say they want to fix it before it becomes a problem.
Don Hallford, General Manager of Ozark Utilities Board said, “And it is one of the few remaining areas that we have in Ozark that are eligible for a CDBG Grant.”
Which is why residents like Joyce Faniel are saying it is about time, “If we can’t get the money then where is the money going to. Because this side of town ain’t living good,” she said.
The public hearings are to gauge enthusiasm about the project, which is a must for people looking at the grant application. The first hearing is tonight and the next one is on March 21st at 5:30 p.m. at the Autrey Center, 749 W. Reynolds Street.