Grant Money Still Available

If I could, I would.  But I can’t.  But you might be able to.  Here’s the official press release and they really want to find homes for this grant money!!  From the city,

$150,000 available to qualified residents

(La Vergne, February 25, 2011) The city of La Vergne wants to give you money! The city received $150,000 in grant funding from THDA for the federally funded HOME program. The money is directed at the production, preservation and rehabilitation of housing.

“In other words, we want to help residents make repairs to their houses,” said city grant writer Montique Luster. “There are a few residency strings attached. If a grant recipient sells the home in less than five years, they will have to pay some back. If you own for five years, you will not owe any money. If you sell after four years, you will have to pay back 20 percent, three years is 40 percent, and so on.”

There is a 15-year lien requirement for residences that have to be completely torn down and rebuilt.

To qualify for the grant funds, you must own your own home and lived there during 2010. Income limits for family size are as follows: 1 – $36,550, 2 – $41,750, 3 – $46,950, 4 – $52,150, and 5+ – $56,350. The funds can be used to correct code violations or repair any developing deficiencies in the structure of the home (e.g., siding, gutters, flooring, lead paint remediation, etc.).

The deadline to apply has been extended to April 1, 2011. For information, contact Luster at City Hall, 5093 Murfreesboro Road, or call her at (615) 287-8606. To formally apply, Cindy Raymond can be reached by email at cynthia.raymond@comcast.net or call (615) 855-0883.

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House Fire In LaVergne This Morning

The Kirsch Family of LaVergne had major damage to their home from a early morning fire in Stones River Cove subdivision.

The family has lost many of their household and cherished items.

Please keep Trish Kirsch and son Zach in your thoughts or prayers.

 

Family’s Home Heavily Damaged by Early Morning Fire

La Vergne fire fighters respond to fire in Stones River Cove subdivision. Severe fire, smoke and water damage to home.

Family’s Home Heavily Damaged by Early Morning Fire

La Vergne firefighters were called to the scene of a house fire at 600 Ronnie Erwin Lane in the Stones River Cove subdivision on Sunday at 12:38 a.m. The fire had burned long enough to destroy the master suite and to cause extensive smoke damage throughout the rest of the home.

Equipment from all three stations responded, according to Assistant Fire Chief Ricky McCormick, “We had two pumper trucks, a service company truck which provides extra equipment on the scene (like lighting, ventilation equipment, and water removal tools), and two command vehicles.  Our firetrucks were there by 12:40 a.m. and the fire was under control at 1:06 a.m.”

La Vergne Fire Marshall Victor Woods said the fire was caused by a malfunctioning hair dryer.

Trish Kirsch and her son Zach, a senior at La Vergne High School, lost many cherished belongings in the blaze, including their cat Squirt.

Long active in the La Vergne community, the Kirsch family has volunteered extensively at the city’s ball park. In addition, Zach is a volunteer with the emergency relief group Box 100, the Rutherford County Volunteer Fire Department, and Almaville Fire & Rescue Department.

People of the community are rallying around the family by holding a donation drive on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the LHS baseball field, and again at 6:00 p.m. at WillStan’s Grille

Fire at LaV Church

More news from the City of LaVergne,

Fire damages youth building of Miracle Baptist Church

In just three minutes, the La Vergne Fire Department responded to an emergency call Tuesday morning at Miracle Baptist Church, located on Murfreesboro Road. A fire in the youth building was extinguished before it could spread to the main building of the church.

The church was saved partly because of their own generosity to someone in need. Ronald Kehl had been given permission by the church to use the back parking lot at night to sleep in his van. He awoke early with heartburn, noticed smoke coming from the building, and called 911.

According to La Vergne Fire Marshal Victor Woods, the fire was caused by a malfunction in the building’s HVAC unit. No one was injured in the blaze.

Mayor Senna Mosley and Vice Mayor Chris Farmer were on the scene as part of the city’s emergency response team.

“Our fire fighters have trained hard to immediately react in situations like this,” said Farmer who chairs the city’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC). “On all calls, our emergency responders are on the scene fast. Our fire department actually holds a two-point-nine minute response time from the minute they get the call from dispatch to being on the scene. They do a really good job for La Vergne.”

Permit Holders Should Pay Their Bills

Here’s some news from the city… this ordinance passed at the last meeting on February 1st and took effect on Friday.  From the city,

Permits may be revoked for non-payment of city fees and taxes

If you have not paid your city fees or city taxes, La Vergne now has the authority to regulate the issuance, denial or revocation of any city issued permits.  At the last Board of Mayor and Alderman meeting on February 1st, members unanimously approved the ordinance that addresses failure to pay city fees, taxes, or monetary debt or obligation owed to the city.

Written notification will first be sent to a business or individual failing to pay. A hearing may be held with the city administrator who will determine if a debt or payment has been satisfied in full.  If non-payment of debt is determined, the administrator may then revoke current city permits or deny a request for a permit.

“As a city, we are no different from any other business,” said La Vergne Mayor Senna Mosley.  “If you don’t pay your light bill, your electricity is turned off.  By the same logic, if you don’t pay your city bills or city taxes, you can’t operate here.”

 The ordinance took effect on February 4, 2011.

Kudos to Finance Director

Hello!  I’m back – as promised – in my role as PR Director for LaV.  It didn’t take me long at all to realize there are some pretty amazing people who work here.  Which is why I’m “officially” writing now – to congratulate Ms. Phillis Rogers, the Director of Finance and Water Billing.  She recently earned an important designation on our behalf. 

Here’s the official news release after the jump, Continue reading

Some City Updates

Before we begin, I just want to tell you that the potato soup really *was* good despite what (rhymes with) Heave-Ho said.

The biggest news happening right now in LaVergne is that a search is underway for a new city administrator. Click here to read the job description and information about applying. You have until January 8th to apply. Here is a GREAT change in one of the position requirements: Must currently live in the City of La Vergne or must be willing to move to the City of LaVergne within 6 months of accepting the position. I really like that the person who is making the decisions that will impact this town has to live with these decisions by living in this town. Wise.

The next isn’t nearly as exciting, but worth mentioning… the city has set up drop boxes to pay water bill, taxes, court fees, and traffic tickets 24-hours a day. The water drop box is still located at the regular water payment drive-thru. The other payments (tax, court, traffic) can be left in a drop box at the BACK DOOR of City Hall. Make sure you indicate any vital information like name, address, and “if applicable account number or ticket number with any payments so that they can be applied to the appropriate account.”

Also on the city page,

The LaVergne Public Works Department will be accepting live Christmas trees through January 21st, 2011. All decorations, tinsel, garlands, lights, etc. must be removed from the trees before dropping them off. Trees may be dropped off at the Public Works Building located at 148 International Blvd. Signs will be posted as to where to leave the trees.

My tree has been undecorated and dropped in the attic. Some ornaments were harmed in the process.

I Need New Gutters

The automatic, instamatic notification system that LaVergne dinged a message earlier today about winning a grant! LaVergne received $150,000 from the Tennessee Housing Development Agency for low-income home-owners to make repairs.

The income criteria to be eligible for the home-repair funds are:  One person in household, can make up to $36,550. If there are two people in the household, $41, 750. Three people, $46,950. Four people, $52,150. Five people $56,310, etc.

For more information or to apply, contact the city grant writer Montique Luster by Feb. 4, 2011 at City Hall (call 793-6295).

While I’ve never met our grant-writer, the potential of this city position is important.  I would love to see LaVergne take a look at neighborhood stabilization grant programs (neighborhood block grants).  According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, money is available for the following (and more):

  • Establish financing mechanisms for purchase and redevelopment of foreclosed homes and residential properties;
  • Purchase and rehabilitate homes and residential properties abandoned or foreclosed;
  • Establish land banks for foreclosed homes;
  • Demolish blighted structures;
  • Redevelop demolished or vacant properties

I wonder if the city would consider appointing a committee of interested residents to perhaps brainstorm ideas on applying for federal funds to improve our neighborhoods.  There may already be a committee for this…  ??  anyone know?