The city of Greenwood has received a $300,000 grant in order to address 12 blighted residential  properties in town.

During its Tuesday meeting, Michelle Stadelman of Delta Design Build Workshop, who wrote the grant application, provided details about the grant, which is provided through the Mississippi Home Corporation’s Blight Elimination Program (BEP).

BEP provides municipal and county governments financial assistance in demolishing blighted properties. Its goal, according to Mississippi Home Corporation, is to reduce housing foreclosures and strengthen neighborhoods by eliminating blighted properties.

In April, the council approved applying for the program.

The grant money, which is up to $25,000 for each property, reimburses the city for the demolition of the properties, as well as costs associated with the acquisition of the properties and clearing of the title. In addition, for up to three years, the grant money addresses property, maintenance and administrative costs, such as property taxes and cutting the grass, Stadelman explained.

In this program,  city or county government must work with a “blight partner” that will hold the title of the lots of the blighted properties and maintain those lots for three years unless that property is sold or transferred to another party. In Greenwood’s case, the blight partner is Delta Design Build Workshop.

Since the program is voluntary, the owners of the blighted properties have to accept an offer to have their property purchased, Stadelman said.

The council will approve a resolution regarding the BEP contract in a future meeting, Mayor Carolyn McAdams said.

The council was also visited for a third time by John Ray, an entertainment promoter from Birmingham, Alabama.

He again asked if the city would provide financial assistance for two recurring festivals he plans to hold at Florewood Park — one in the spring and another in the fall.

Ray held a concert at Florewood over the summer.

In his last visit to the council, Ray asked if the city would set aside money for his events, which the city did not do.

The council took no action Tuesday on Ray’s request.

In other business, the council:

• Established the position of corporal in the Police Department.

Police Chief Jody Bradley said that there are a number of younger patrol officers in his department who are experienced but short of the three years needed to be promoted to a sergeant. The rank of corporal, which falls between a patrol officer and sergeant, would allow officers to be trained to eventually reach the rank of a sergeant, the chief said.

• Heard from Jean Cadney, who spoke about Greenwood Utilities’ upcoming 115th anniversary and celebration of 125 years of electricity in town.

In honor of these milestones,  Cadney said, Greenwood Utilities would like to hang banners in several spots around town, such as on Kessler Bridge and the corner of Bowie Lane and Carrollton Avenue, for a week during the celebration.

•Heard from Crystal Williams regarding the Juneteenth celebration to be held in June at Whittington Park. Williams asked the council for its support.

Council president Ronnie Stevenson said the city could provide in-kind support, such as proving portable toilets.  

• Supported a resolution to create a legal holiday in honor of Native Americans. Merle Whiteside, a resident of Roseville, Illinois, who was not present at Tuesday’s meeting, has been touring the country to get support from other municipal governments. Eventually Whiteside plans to present his petition to the U.S. government to enact the holiday.

• Reappointed Joanne Branham to the Greenwood Tree Board for Ward 7. Branham’s term will expire Jan. 1, 2023.

• Met in executive session with Angela Curry, executive director of the Greenwood-Leflore Industrial Board, about an economic development project. No action was taken.

Contact Gerard Edic at 581-7239 or gedic@gwcommonwealth.com.

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