Villas street paving remains in question

Published 8:13 am Thursday, February 24, 2011

MURFREESBORO — There still seems to be confusion over the Howard Hunter Villas project, particularly when the Town of Murfreesboro will pave the roads for the housing development for low to moderate income families.

On Tuesday, the Murfreesboro Town Council directed Interim Town Administrator Richard Hicks to contact Vickie Miller, assistant director for Department of Commerce Division of Community Assistance (DCA), to request a copy of their agreement in writing regarding paving the streets after homes had been built on the Villas’ property.

At the meeting, Hicks noted there were four homes ready to be constructed on the Howard Hunter Villas property. Those applicants purchasing the homes are receiving loans from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development.

“I think USDA’s policy is that they will not finalize the homes until the streets are paved,” he said. “Evidently, Brandon Alexander (with DCA) discussed this with (State Director) Randy Gore of USDA and the area representative and there has been some indication that the town had sent a letter stating that as soon as the houses are finished the town would pave the streets.”

According to a previous story published by the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, a July 7, 2010 letter sent from the town to Miller laid out that agreement after the Hertford County Quality of Life Association indicated there was a list of eligible homeowners. The letter stated that the town would pave the streets in phase one of Howard Hunter Villas and cause the necessary repairs to be made to the sewer system in the consideration of dollar for dollar reduction of the $130,000 owed to DCA in regards to a Community Development Block Grant used for the project.

“You would probably have to get DCA involved and get an agreement from DCA that you could commit to paving the streets and the money you spent to pave the streets be applied toward any payback if there was any payback,” said Attorney Buddy Jones.

Council members responded that they thought that had been the agreement.

“I thought we asked them for a letter,” said Councilwoman Gloria Odum.

Jones said he wasn’t sure if the town received that letter.

Councilman Billy Theodorakis said the issue had been discussed many times and Senator Ed Jones had been involved with those discussions.

“I think we’re still in agreement that once they build those houses, we’ll pave the streets up to (the value of) $130,000,” he said.

“I don’t think we ever got the green light from DCA,” said Jones.

Hicks offered to get in contact with Miller regarding the matter.

“I don’t think our position is going to change,” said Theodorakis.