City council gives break to Habitat house
Habitat for Humanity has moved closer to providing a home for one of Eudora`s own and will get it at a slightly lower cost than most other homeowners.
Bill Whitten, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, addressed the Eudora City Council on Tuesday, requesting some fees which are paid when new homes are built be dropped. Whitten asked that a $500 new water tower fee, a $1,500 sewer improvement fee and a $200 park fee be dropped from the list of standard fees for new homes. In return, Whitten said, Habitat would pick up the cost of other fees that would be incurred by the city.
"We`d go ahead and pay for the cost of the water meter and pay for the sewer fee," Whitten said. "All I`m requesting is the $2,200 fee. They`ll pay any other fees like the rest of (the homeowners)."
The council unanimously voted to approve the dropping of the $2,200 fees for Habitat.
Habitat helps qualifying persons own a home by finding land, building homes and selling them at cost. Homes are built with an average cost of $50,000. The buyer works 350-375 hours of "sweat equity" toward the home`s completion. Volunteers work on all areas of the homes except electric and plumbing.
In June the council voted to sell a 50` by 50` piece of property to the organization for $1. The land, at 625 Locust, was a former water tower site. When the house is built in 2001, the front of the house will face the street. However, a 15-foot slope will make driveway construction difficult. Whitten asked if the alleyway behind the house could be a designated access road to the house. A local resident, Karen Williams, was selected to have a Habitat home built for her by the organization.
"Won`t that set some sort of precedent by doing that?" council president Rex Burkhardt asked.
City attorney Jerry Cooley assured the council the request was reasonable, providing it would not interfere with access by others who use the alleyway.
Whitten also asked the city use chip and seal on the driveway, to reinforce the gravel road and make it suitable for driving. Chip and seal is a type of road surfacing, which is a cross between gravel and pavement. Council member Tom Pyle disagreed with that proposal.
"I don`t have a problem with access through the alley, but as far as chip and seal, some other people in town might not see that as fair," Pyle said.
The council unanimously agreed to allow alley access and look into adding more gravel to the alley in the future.