Villas progress slow, but steady

Published 10:30 am Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MURFREESBORO — Though things are back on track for Howard Hunter’s Villa project, town officials here say the process will be a slow go.

On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council heard an update on the project that has been limbo for approximately a decade.

As of that meeting, the council had yet to hear from NC Initiative representatives regarding a memorandum of understanding (MOU), which was to outline what each of the entities involved in the project are responsible for.

Town Administrator Cathy Davison told the council she had left two voicemail messages for Initiative representative Tara Kenchen in reference to the MOU that Town Attorney Buddy Jones had been working with the group on.

“(Jones) is working with the Initiative on a memorandum of understanding to see the pump station upgraded, as well as the paving put in place after the construction of the 10 homes as required by the grant amendment from DCA (Department of Commerce),” said Davison to the council.

“It’s still moving forward, but it will be a slow process,” said Davison.

Councilman Bill Theodorakis said hopefully there would be more information at the next council meeting.

“It seems to be a long drawn out thing,” he said.

Councilwoman Gloria Odum questioned if the council could request a deadline date, noting the pending April 30 deadline for the Community Development Block Grant (CDGB).

Jones responded that hopefully that would be a part of the memorandum of understanding.

Davison said DCA will be flexible with the deadline as long as they see progress.

The council will also need to amend their grant again since DCA is putting an additional $50,000 into the project, said Davison.

The additional cost of $104,000 to upgrade the infrastructure for the project will be split between the town of Murfreesboro ($10,000), the county ($10,000), DCA and the Initiative ($75,000).

There is $81,000 left on the CDBG.

On Friday, Davison told the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that she had since communicated with Kenchen and the MOU was expected on Monday morning. On Monday, Davison said the MOU has been received by the town.