80-unit housing project eyed
A well-regarded company which provides housing units for senior citizens wants to build an 80-unit complex in Rockdale.
City council members, meeting Monday in regular session at City Hall, also heard councilman Allan Miller lament the state of ongoing cleanup efforts in the city.
HOUSING—Gary Maddock, representing Hunters Chase, said the $10-million complex is proposed for a 22-acre tract off East Belton, east of the Yoakum Street corner, in northeast Rockdale.
“It’s a 27-acre tract owned by Hondo Cattle Company and we would purchase all but five acres,” he said.
Maddock said the units are single family and would be occupied by persons age 55 or over.
He said the Rockdale complex would be similar to one recently constructed in New Orleans.
Maddock said council endorsement would assist the company in obtaining crucial federal housing tax credits and Home Investment Partnership Funds.
He said if funding is approved construction would be at least a year in the future.
“We looked at five or six cities and decided Rockdale was a place where we could show enough of a need for this kind of housing,” Maddock said.
FRUSTRATION—Miller said he was frustrated with pace and scope of cleanup efforts, including street sweeping, junked vehicles and dilapidated building demolition.
“It seems like all we do is talk about it,” Miller said. “Why can’t we get anything done?”
“Do you all want the town cleaned up,” Miller challenged the council. “Or am I the only one?”
City Manager Kelvin Knauf told Miller “things are happening every day” and added “we didn’t get into this overnight and Rockdale is not going to be pristine overnight.”
He also pointed out the city could not, by law, clean up someone’s land.
Miller asked if funds held in reserve could be used for cleanup efforts. “Let’s hire someone so we can sweep the streets more than once a week, let’s have another police officer.”
“We started out with a nice, quiet, thriving small town,” Miller said. “It doesn’t look like it did 40 years ago.”
MEMO—Police Chief Thomas Harris said his department continues to perform code enforcement dut ies and focuses on junked cars.
Harris read a strongly-worded memo he recently sent to officers, ordering them to increase numbers of cases.
The memo drew applause from some of the council members.
“You’ve got to understand this takes a lot of time,” Harris said. “You’ve got to identify a vehicle, wait until you find the owner at home, get them to sign a citation, give them 10 days to move the vehicle, then go find them again, if you can.”
Mayor Larry Jones suggested mobilizing civic and social groups to mount an organized cleanup.
In other business council members:
• Heard a report from Gary Griesbach and Collier Perry of the Municipal Development District on a proposed airport study.
• Submitted a request for a $100,000 grant from Post Oak Savannah Groundwater Conservation District to be used for installing new “smart” water meters.
• Named Tim Storey to the city electrical board.
• Okayed the use of special project f unds for water and wastewater projects.
• Discussed follow-up to the recent economic development “summit.”