Housing board OKs office renovations

The Warren County Housing Authority’s board of directors heard updates on a number of matters, and took action on two, at its regular meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Board members approved moving forward with planned office renovations.

Authority Executive Director Tonya Mitchell-Weston reported bids had been received for the work and the low bid came in at approximately $720,000.

Following the approval, pre-construction work should begin in early December and demolition should be underway by mid-December.

Board members also approved proposed staff title changes and re-organization.

Previously, the staff had been using titles drawn from the civil service system, which they said did not reflect actual job duties.

Following the approval, titles will more closely align with job duties.

Along with the title changes, adjustments were made to the authority’s organizational flow chart. The adjustments reflect the duties staff are actually fulfilling.

The changes do not impact compensation.

Mitchell-Weston announced the authority is organizing a resident advisory board.

The board will include resident representatives from all authority properties except Canterbury Court.

“The primary purpose is to review capital funds and capital expenditures and provide feedback,” Mitchell-Weston explained. “I want to use it for much more than that. I want to use it for a countywide resident council.”

The board will provide the authority with feedback on issues affecting residents.

Mitchell-Weston apprised board members of the status of refinancing Canterbury Court.

According to her, staff is completing paperwork for the matter as quickly as possible.

“We hope to have everything completed, all the paperwork,” she noted. “It’s moving along, but it’s a lot of paperwork.”

Mitchell-Weston also reported there has been no movement on the authority’s case against ADT TYCO, a firm contracted to provide security cameras which have had recurring problems.

She noted suit has been filed, but the parties were awaiting scheduling of a court date.

There has also been no movement on a fair housing case against the authority.

The lull could mean the issue has been dropped, but Mitchell-Weston warned the U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of Fair Housing has two years to decide whether to pursue the suit.

A tax exemption case between the authority and the county has not had any movement either.

Mitchell-Weston noted the last communication between the parties was a request by the county for 30 days to consider action, which has since expired.

She also announced she has been unanimously elected vice president for the Northwestern Regional Housing Directors’ Association.

Authority staff announced they have shredded 65 boxes of outdated records.

Maintenance announced they have almost completed wallpaper stripping at Conewango Towers.