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City OKs final plat for Azalea Street project
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Hinesville City Council members approved the final plat for phase 3B of Azalea Street’s redevelopment.

The area is along Ash Boulevard and consists of seven lots. It was originally designed as five lots, with a community area, but that area was divided into two more lots.

“These seven lots will be dedicated to address affordable housing needed for the city of Hinesville,” City Manager Kenneth Howard told council members. “Initially, we wanted to include phase 3B to the general public. But this body and the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority decided we should prioritize low-to-moderate income families. Right now, these houses will be built with the thought in mind to provide opportunities for low-income families.”

Howard added grant money has been used for infrastructure, including water and sewer installation, street improvements, and drainage.

The plat approval brings the total of lots in phase 3 to 15. The lot sizes are at least 8,000 square feet in area, and Howard said covenants in place prevent making them smaller. Smaller lots could mean more houses and even smaller houses, which would carry a lesser price tag.

Howard also pointed out there is a multi-family development in the project, the 12 townhomes in phase 1. Howard also said city staff will present council members more options on affordable housing and ways to help low-to-moderate income families buy homes at an upcoming workshop.

The city failed to get any bids on rehabilitation work to bring three owner- occupied homes up to standard. Assistant city manager Ryan Arnold said they hope to grow the list of approved contractors for that kind of work and re-advertise the project.

Council members also approved two loans through Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority connected to the city’s water reclamation facility on JV Road.

The first loan of $25.9 million will expand the water reclamation facility, allowing it to process 4 million gallons per day, and upgrade the sewer system. The city’s rate for the 20-year loan is 1.63% and as a Water First community, it gets a 1% reduction in terms.

The loan will be repaid through impact fee funds. The city also approved a $6.6 million GEFA loan for modifications to the water reclamation facility for permit compliance.

The $6.6 million loan is an amendment to a May 2020 loan, of $2.6 million, to finance upgrades and modifications to the water reclamation facility. The costs of those upgrades and modifications have increased significantly. The city will have $550,000 in principal forgiveness.

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