The Henderson City Council approved Monday next steps for several projects underway, including the S-Line commuter/passenger rail service, completing projects at the Industrial Park and the official approval of the Urban Redevelopment Area.
City Manager Terrell Blackmon said there was some discussion by council members about what to name the URA, so the plan passed without having a formal name attached to it.
The Redevelopment Commission will be asked to reconsider the name of the district from “Elmwood” to something that includes “West End,” which is the name of the historical neighborhood included in the URA.
Council members approved the plan in February meeting, at which time a copy of the plan was posted on the city website for review. The Planning Board Commission approved the plan on Feb. 21, 2022.
The URA includes more than 200 acres in the city and much of that property is in a blighted condition, according to information contained in the Council’s March meeting packet. The redevelopment plan is expected “to yield a substantial increase in the tax value of these properties and in turn contribute toward the redevelopment of downtown,” the information stated.
Another project connected to downtown revitalization is the Regional S-Line Mobility Hub project that would provide $2.64 million in federal grants to re-establish a train station for the S-Line commuter and rail service.
The grant application is due April 14 with grants awarded by August, according to the agenda information.
The total cost is $3.3 million, and the city would be asked to pitch in $190,000 of matching funds if the grant is awarded. All grant and matching funds would need to be obligated by 2026 and spent by 2031.
The Council also heard from Manager Blackmon about the recently awarded $761,040 in Economic Development Administration funds to finish the sewer and roadway at the Henderson-Vance Industrial Park.
The city and county were awarded the money jointly to finish the project, which is a continuation of the work done by the county to install water and sewer lines and also to build a gravel road for the city.
Now that the funding is in place, the county intends to pave the road and finish the sewer force main which was removed from the previous project because of budget constraints.