News Column

West Point mulls Forward Fund application

May 9, 2014

By Asia Ashley, LaGrange Daily News, Ga.

May 09--The city of West Point is looking over the first application for the city's Forward Fund grant program.

The application was submitted by the owners of West Point Village, LLC to go toward improvements of the Hwy 18 and O.G Skinner Drive area in West Point.

Funded through a $6 million bond deal with Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia, the city voted to approve the city's Forward Fund in early March and was created to provide loans and grants towards the redevelopment of public infrastructure in the city.

According to City Manager Ed Moon, the application states that the project will cost $539,300 and the applicant is requesting $250,000 from the Forward Fund for the project. West Point Village is putting up $203,000 and plans to ask businesses in the O.G. Skinner Drive area to participate in the project.

If the city grants the funds, it is the applicant's responsibility to complete the project.

Mayor Drew Ferguson had skepticism about providing funds before the project is complete and said that developers would use their costs first to ensure that they complete the project; There is no clarification in the Forward Fund policies on when the funds should be dispersed for a project.

Moon said he will look into structuring the grant's disbursement similar to that of a loan disbursement to better dictate how to disperse the funds.

In other business during the Thursday morning work session, council also rehashed items discussed during last week's work session that are expected to be voted on at Monday's meeting.

One item of discussion for several months now included the city's implementation of curbside recycling.

The city is currently awaiting response from C&C sanitation on an agreement that would bring curbside recycling to the city. The proposed agreement would provide all customers with a 95-gallon cart for weekly garbage collection and residents also will be provided a 95-gallon cart for recyclables that will be picked up every other week.

The initial charge for residents for curbside garbage and recycling pickup through C&C is proposed at a total $15 per month. Residents currently pay $17.54 per month for curbside trash pickup. The proposed agreement allows the service fee to be increased each year, based on the Consumer Price Index, up to 3 percent annually.

The proposed agreement also calls for C&C to provide backdoor trash pickup to the disabled and elderly at no additional cost. Other residents may pay a $25 "premium" fee for backdoor pickup.

Also on Thursday, Ferguson, Moon and the city council spent the afternoon and evening interviewing the five final candidates for the soon to be vacant police chief position. The group is still deliberating and no decision has been made as of this morning.


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Source: LaGrange Daily News (GA)

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