To assist those citizens most adversely affected, the Metropolis City Council voted 6-2 Monday to purchase 10 properties in an amount not to exceed $360,000. The cost includes the purchase price, pro-ration of real estate taxes and closing costs. While the funding is coming out of the city’s general fund, it is to be reimbursed through the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).
Voting for the purchases were Aldermen Kim Brown, Charles Barfield, Bill Carrell, Richard Corzine, David Daugherty and Bob Midnight. Voting against were David McManus and Jerry Mizell.
The properties are 107 Frelinghuysen, 121 W. Hope Lane, 130 Carter Dr., 208 Filmore, 418 E. Third St., 418 1/2 E. Third St., 610 E. 17th St., 806 E. Second St., 807 E. Second St. and 1504 Filmore.
The feasibility of the purchase was brought up by McManus. “Why are we rushing about now to go ahead and buy this property and spend $360,000 when we’ve got everything else going on?” he asked. “I’m talking about going ahead instead of waiting until they (IEMA) do it. We’ve got sewer separation going on; you’re talking about the swimming pool (bathhouse renovation, for which the city is responsible for $331,000); and we want to throw $360,000 out here. We’ve seen in the past just because FEMA says they’re going to do something or whatever doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to come up at the last minute and do it.”
Mizell shared the same belief. “I feel for the people, but there’s a concern there that we’re raising other things and going to use $360,000 from the general fund,” he said.
Mayor Billy McDaniel said while he understands the aldermen’s viewpoint, “I do think it’s a necessary thing for a community. Sometimes we have to do what we think is right for the whole community and move on with it. Our citizens have gone through two years, many of them making double mortgage payments. I do think it’s a good thing for the City of Metropolis to do. We’ve been assured — but like you said, you never know; I do agree with that — that the funding will be forthcoming immediately. And I do believe that. The people that are in charge of that have assured us that it’s just a matter of the turnaround on the paperwork.”
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