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May 13, 2014

City panel addresses housing, rowdiness

By Denise Richardson Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — The city’s Community Improvement Committee discussed past, current and future housing grants and programs during a meeting at City Hall on Monday night.

Jeff House, housing rehabilitation specialist and acting community development director, reviewed the status of previous first-time homeowner programs. The city is preparing legal notices for about six participants who received money from the city and haven’t responded to requests for payment or eligibility for deferment, he said.

Committee members expressed concerns that future first-time homeowner or similar housing-assistance programs define the city’s role and establish monitoring steps and avenues for notification about mortgage changes.

House will review possible grant projects during a public hearing at the Common Council meeting next Tuesday night.

In other business Monday night, council members discussed vandalism, litter and other quality-of-life issues they attributed to poor behavior by some college students.

Recently, some street and stop signs were taken out by their posts, members said, and a resident reported that porch spindles were destroyed. They also noted that two residents on Columbia Street reported concerns about litter and noise directly to the Common Council on Tuesday night.

David Rissberger, council member from the Third Ward, said the level of destruction has notched up in recent years. Students use the Cow Path, a route from the State University College at Oneonta, to walk downtown, said Rissberger, who asked if that foot traffic could be detoured for increased monitoring.

CIC Chairman Robert Brzozowski, council member from the Seventh Ward, said concerns about OH Fest, a college student festival held last month, will be discussed at a later time when the police chief is available to attend the meeting.