Watch Now: Decatur City Council to Consider $ 300,000 Increase to COVID-19 Rent Relief Program | Government and politics

DECATUR – The city’s COVID-19 rent relief program would get a boost of $ 300,000 under a proposal that will be considered by city council on Monday.

The order would change the city’s contract with Decatur-based social service agency Dove Inc., which has administered the relief program on behalf of the city since August 2021, from $ 450,000 to $ 750,000.

The deal would use funds the city received from the $ 1.9 trillion US bailout package signed by President Joe Biden in March 2021.

So far, 160 Decatur families have received assistance with rent, mortgage and utility payments to the tune of $ 414,793, or approximately $ 2,592 per family, through the program.

About 300 requests were refused, most of them due to lack of required documents, inability to prove difficulties or lack of follow-up.

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“We continue to see a need,” Dove executive director Tammy Wilcox said in a note to city council. “Especially for the working family who have to stay home with their children because of exposure to COVID or because of COVID. We see families living paycheck to paycheck, so losing even a week of income puts them behind schedule.


Tamara Wilcox is completing her first year as Executive Director of Dove Inc. at Decatur. “We had no downtime,” she said. “But it was fun.”


Deputy City Manager Jon Kindseth said Dove “had already received requests that exceeded the amount of resources they needed to fund and came to us probably two weeks ago” asking for more resources. .

The relatively rapid pace of fund outflows is a change from early 2021, when “very difficult compliance requirements” attached to funds resulted in a few dollars falling into the hands of those who need it most. .

However, the council voted earlier this year to shift the source of funding from the Community Development Block Grant funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to amounts received under the ARP, which allows for more funding. great flexibility.

The amount spent on the program is only a small fraction of the nearly $ 17 million the city received in COVID-19 stimulus funds in 2021. Much of the rest is for infrastructure projects and projects. neighborhood revitalization initiatives. The city will receive an additional $ 17 million in 2022.

The rental aid application can be downloaded from

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Also on Monday, council will likely deem seven properties, including the former Walrus Manufacturing Co. warehouse at 650 N. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, “unsafe and unsafe,” the first step towards their likely demolitions.

Parts of the four-story warehouse were in rubble in late October when an exterior wall began to collapse. This led to a long shutdown of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive as this part was demolished.

Kindseth said the entire building “probably needs to be demolished” and “is slightly beyond salvage at this point.”

“The structural failure that occurred on the west side of the building is likely to happen to the rest of the building in the future,” Kindseth said.

3. Jon Kindseth

Jon kindseth

Assistant to the municipal manager

$ 153,005

“I think the owner and structural engineer already knew this, but this is our way of making sure it doesn’t get stuck anywhere else in the process,” he said.

Structures that end up on the “dangerous” list are usually demolished within six months, although this often depends on funding levels.

The demolition could cost more than a million dollars, Kindseth said. This responsibility will likely fall on the owner.

Watch now: Roads near the crumbling Decatur warehouse will be closed

In 2020, the building was ranked by History of the Heartland as one of the “Top 8 Lists of Most Endangered Non-residential Structures”.

The structure was built in 1904. Robert Faries started the Walrus Manufacturing Company, building and installing equipment for soda fountains used in drugstores across the country.

By the 1950s, the industry had changed, leading the Walrus Manufacturing Company to switch products, such as making coffins. After the closure of Walrus Manufacturing, the building was occupied by Cash Acme, the successor to AW Cash Valve.

Other properties added to the demolition list include 2461 E. Eldorado, 1196 W. Green, 426 W. Olive, 884 W. Packard, 1442 N. Union, and 555 W. William.

Also on Monday, the board will consider a order that increased annual per-machine fees paid by video game terminal operators from $ 500 to $ 750.

The cost would be shared between terminal operators and establishments.

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