By Kevin Jefferies
Commerce – The City of Commerce awarded a contract earlier this week to replace five dilapidated homes with brand new ones using state grant money. The Owner Occupied Housing grant for $250,000 is aimed at providing funds for cities to demolish dilapidated houses and provide a brand new home for the owners. Commerce used a similar grant for $500,000 in 2003 to build ten new homes throughout the city.
Kennison's Home Improvements was awarded the contract after very competitive bidding that was low enough to allow the city to build five new homes instead of an originally projected four. The final bid came in at $239, 397, and Community Development Director Fred Eaton said the city may also be able to provide carports and refrigerators in the new homes with the excess money.
Commerce will have to provide a 20% match for the grant, which Eaton said can easily be met through waiving certain fees and permits and other work done on the project by city employees.