Methodist Hill project comes to a close

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 27, 2002

A public hearing was held Monday prior to the regular meeting of the Greenville City Council to officially close out the Methodist Hill Housing and Rehabilitation and Drainage Improvement Project.

Kathy McHugh of Roth, McHugh and Associates in Montgomery, a private consulting firm who helps cities, municipalities and states get grants and assisted the City of Greenville with securing the Community Block Development Grant, gave a summary of the results of the project.

"The project started in the spring of 2000, and Councilmember James Lewis worked very closely with me to help identify the area," said McHugh. "We were able to renovate 27 houses, rather than 21 which was what we predicted. The City of Greenville worked very closely with us to maximize the dollars and put in over $20,000, which was over and above the amount required."

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McHugh added that she had never had such a project go so smoothly. "We represent about 45 municipal clients in the State of Alabama and have done numerous rehabilitation projects. Without a doubt, this has been the smoothest and most trouble-free project that I've had," she said.

McHugh explained that this type of project is one that is intrusive, sometimes leading contractors to work not only outside of the home, but inside. "You're actually in their living rooms painting walls or tearing out floors

you're in their face. You get to know them, and some of the workers said the ladies were baking them cookies," she said.

Those whose homes were renovated were the first 27 that qualified for the improvements. "We had to do it on a first come, first serve basis. There were over 60 applicants so we decided it would be the easiest way to do it," said McHugh.

McHugh commended the Greenville City Council and Mayor Dexter McLendon for their efforts on the project. "In some instances with other communities, the mayor and the council try to get involved actively and intervene, but this council did not do that. They told me in no certain terms they had hired me to do it, and to administer the program fairly. I never had a phone call from anyone asking if we could do this person's' house. I would like to thank them for supporting and allowing us to do this project and for letting us do our job," she said.

"Councilmember Lewis has been behind this, and I really appreciate how he's handled this," said McLendon. "That's the reason it's gone like it has. This has been a good project, and I've been very pleased on how it has gone."