POWDERSVILLE – A Powdersville community meeting turned emotional several times last night over a proposal for a government funded housing development.
A Realtor involved in the project believes the complex, located on Enterprise Drive, will fill a need in town. Opponents were concerned about traffic and negative impact to medical care, education and law enforcement.
The event at the Powdersville Library started off as a Town hall meeting organized by County Councilman Ken Waters.
Among the topics slated for the meeting was a participant survey on EMS expansion, road paving maintenance, sewer and waste water, the hospitality tax, the transit system, the replacement of capital equipment, the storm water program and government funded apartments. The crowd spilled into the entrance way outside of the board room.
Discussion soon revealed that the large crowd of local residents and business owners were most interested in discussing the proposed idea of government funded apartments.
“I have property listed in Powdersville on Enterprise Drive and I have a contract on it with some people out of Charleston that have proposed to build some apartments on there,” said Realtor, Jerry Tripp. “I am only the Realtor doing a job that I should do.”
Tripp said that he thought the apartments would be good for Powdersville.
“I think it will be great and serve a big need that we have in the area for affordable housing for people,” Tripp said. “I am well pleased that I am the Realtor.”
Tripp said that the apartments will be government funded but that does not mean that the apartments would be low income or low quality houses.
“It is top quality housing”, Tripp said.
Local business owners expressed their concerns of the proposed apartment project.
“My offices are on the corner of Siloam Road and Enterprise Road adjacent to the site in question,” said Tony McClure of Powdersville Insurance. “One of my concerns is that it will be in close proximity to the school and we’ve already got traffic problems. The high density of the apartment complex would only add to that.”
McClure said that it will have a negative impact on healthcare, education and law enforcement.
“We’re not incorporated so we don’t have any way to enforce the upkeep, maintenance, or sanitation of the project,” McClure said. “We are at the complete mercy of the developer and if he at some point in time takes all of the profit out of it and walks away, we are stuck.”
Waters saw the participation of the community as positive.
“There are some people that are concerned about the community and that is good. We want that,” he said. “I only know what the Realtor told us and he cannot disclose the owners that are looking at this project, so right now we’re just looking to see what we can find out and then we will make decisions based on that.”