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Home Repair Help For Seniors On Council Agenda

Two more American Rescue Plan Act-funded projects focusing on neighborhoods totaling $1 million are on the City Council’s agenda Monday.

Council members will discuss a $500,000 Senior Citizen Home Improvement Incentive Program and a $500,000 Home Improvement Incentive Program.

The senior citizen program works in two ways. Homeowners who are either currently receiving, or would qualify to receive the Aged Exemption, could receive up a dollar-for-dollar rebate check for either all repairs up to $10,000 or to 90% of the total cost of home repairs up to $10,000 depending on which part of the program they qualify to use. Homeowners who have lived in their home for at least a year and have total income, including social security, less than or equal to $22,000 for county taxes or $19,000 for city and school taxes could receive the dollar-for-dollar rebate check up to $10,000.

Homeowners who are either currently receiving or would qualify to receive the Enhanced STAR Exemption or Check Program can perform up to $10,000 in documented repairs or improvements and receive a rebate check for 90% of the total cost.

Council members will also discuss a request from Timothy Jackson, city police chief and public safety director, to purchase six utility pole surveillance cameras. The cameras will cost $75,900, with $50,600 to be paid with American Rescue Act funding and $25,300 to be paid with federal drug seizure money. The cameras are designed to look like electrical transformers and, according to the staff memo supporting the purchase, can be accessed remotely, are equipped with low-light settings that can be adjusted remotely and offer 320-degree coverage.

Council members are also being asked to spend $15,000 from the city’s contingency fund to hire Pracademic Partners to help recruit a new public works director. Jeff Lehman, current public works director, has indicated he will retire in March 2023 and there are no internal candidates ready to take the position. An initial search has not produced a suitable candidate pool.

The city wants to hire a deputy director of public works and professional engineer who would later succeed Lehman. Work could begin as soon as May 30 and last 75-90 days.

Also on the agenda are several special event applications, including:

¯ the Juneteenth Celebration Movie Night Friday, June 17, from 5 to 10:30 p.m.;

¯ Hello Summer event Friday, June 24, from noon to 4:00 p.m.;

¯ Christmas in July on Friday and Saturday, July 22-and July 23, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between Diethrick Park and Washington Street;

¯ Downtown Jamestown Cruise-In to be held on Friday, Aug. 12, from 3 to 8 p.m.; and

¯ a block party application for the First Covenant Art Show on Saturday, June 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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