Enquirer Herald

Valley homes to get freshened up

YORK -- Leaky roofs, structural damage and out-of-date electrical work at 15 homes on Valley Road are about to be fixed, and at no cost to the homeowners.

Rehabilitation on the houses should start later this month thanks to a community development block grant from the state Department of Commerce. Bids were awarded to three contruction companies to do the repairs for a cost of $278,420.

The total grant was for about $500,000, said Sherron Marshall of the Catawba Regional Council of Governments, who has been assisting the city with organizing the repairs.

"There were really two parts to the grant," she said, adding the first project involved correcting a drainage issue along Valley Road by digging ditches and dredging the creek.

The second part was the housing rehabilitation for houses that were built about 35 years ago, Marshall said.

"The whole Wooded Valley area was targeted, and we just started right there on Valley Road," she said.

Only the houses that are sub-standard were selected, and homeowners were consulted about whether they wanted the work done.

"There are some houses down there that need that rehab and that's what they're going to get," said Mayor Eddie Lee.

Quality of life will be increased by improving the housing for low to moderate income families and it could start to benefit other areas, Marshall said.

"A project like this often acts as a catalyst for others in a neighborhood to improve their homes," she said.

Ten of the homeowners will have to move out while their houses are being renovated. While they will be staying with family and friends, storage units will be provided to store their household property. Because Valley Road is so narrow, the units will probably be lifted in with a crane, Marshall said.

"We had the storage unit company yesterday and the city of York yesterday on site and we just don't see any other way of getting them into those yards without a crane," she said.

While it will be inconvenient to be out of their homes for the repairs, most homeowners are pleased to have the work done, Marshall said.

"They're excited," she said. "I think they're looking forward to it."

The repairs should be completed by July, Marshall said.