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Possible Federal dollars for forclosed Walsenburg homes

WALSENBURG- Certified appraiser Ivor Hill came before the Walsenburg City Council Tuesday evening at Councilman Bruce Quintana’s behest to outline a federal stimulus program called the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which basically allows for city governments to apply for grant money to purchase foreclosed or abandoned homes, fix them up, and sell them.  The purpose is to (just like the name says) stabilize neighborhoods with many empty homes in it. 

    An incredulous City Council kept looking for the “catch” to the offer, but there doesn’t appear to be one.  “Is this for real?” asked Councilwoman Edie Flanagin.  Hill emphasized that there doesn’t appear to be any financial risk to the City.  Council instructed City Administrator Alan Hein to begin looking into applying for the next round of grant applications.

    Hein gave his report, noting that his task of fixing the City’s natural gas pipeline was progressing well, with the scariest problem area fixed on Tuesday.  In all, he noted there were 12 problem areas that needed to be fixed to keep the line from breaking again.

    Hein also reported that City crews will begin repairing and replacing sections of sidewalk on Main and Seventh streets, where tree roots have buckled the slabs up dangerously.

    Councilman Larry Patrick reported to the Council about a meeting with the City’s auditor, who said Walsenburg’s financial records needed some improvement, but overall were in good shape, and the City should receive an unqualified audit.  The Council voted to explore the use of a different auditing firm next year, just for a different perspective.

    Finally, Jacque Sikes appeared before the Council to report progress on the Huerfano Regional Building Authority, a relatively new organization she is heading up to organize and codify building codes and contractor’s licences throughout the whole county.  The City reiterated it’s support for the groups’ efforts.