Chipley unpauses CRA grants; votes to sell foreclosed property

CHIPLEY – A popular grant program is once again accepting applications after being on hold since January.

Chipley City Council temporarily suspended applications in January for residential and business improvement grants through the Chipley Redevelopment Agency. The suspension was to give CRA board members and City Attorney Michelle Jordan time to make a change in the application agreement language that would help recapture funds should grantees sell or “flip” the property.

Council members voted in regular session Tuesday, March 9, to accept the new guidelines, allow the CRA to once again accept applications, and allow applicants to submit work performed between January 12 and March 9 to help fulfill the grant’s in-kind work requirement. CRA Executive Director Ted Everett states approximately ten applicants have been awaiting the program to restart the application process.

Council members also voted to accept bids on a long-abandoned property located at 506 Main St. The property is owned by Mack Sowell, who is no longer a resident of the area. The city filed a lawsuit in 2020 to foreclose on the property’s code enforcement liens, which had accumulated to more than $70,000. Bids will begin at $5,000 with the stipulation that the property be brought into code compliance within 60 days of the closing of the sale.

In other business, council members:

  • Approved the appointment of eight members to the Chipley Downtown Redevelopment Steering Committee – Cheryl McCall, Patrick Lewis, Leanne Pedraja, Jennifer Jones, Gina Pippin, Cindy Birge, Emily Farrar, and Amy Wiwi
  • Approved an interlocal agreement with the Washington Cunty Board of County Commissioners regarding the county expansions of broadband and emergency services
  • Approved a development order to allow for remodeling of the interior and exterior of the Burger King restaurant located at 1698 Main St.
  • Adopted the 2021 Washington County Local Mitigation Strategy Plan
  • Entered a Public Hearing to hear input regarding the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus grant cycle
  • Approved the appointment of Elijah Hooks to the CRA Board, leaving two more vacancies to be filled.

This article originally appeared on Washington County News: Chipley unpauses CRA grants; votes to sell foreclosed property