Tyler City Hall Tyler City Council Generic stock

Tyler City Hall, 212 N. Bonner Ave. pictured on June 25, 2018. (Sarah A. Miller/Tyler Morning Telegraph)

To allocate funding for the administration and demolition of substandard structures deemed “slum and blight and unsafe” for habitation in low income areas of Tyler, the city is proposing to amend its 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, Program Year 2021 Annual Action Plan and Program Year 2022 Annual Action Plan.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME (HOME Investment Partnerships Program) regulations require opportunities for citizens to comment on any proposed substantial amendment.

In addition to Wednesday’s public hearing held during the council meeting , citizens also have an opportunity to submit comments until Feb. 23.

“We have to follow certain guidelines,” said Larry Everett, Community Development Manager at City of Tyler. “And one of the guidelines is allowing citizens to be able to make some type of comment, either positive or negative, and with the comments we’ll submit to HUD and let them know what we have, what citizens have said in our community.”

The process is a 15-day period, which includes at least one public hearing, then council approval and then sent to HUD for approval.

The first amendment proposal requests reallocating the funds from the Public Facilities Project into the Substandard Structure Project, in the amount of $100,000.

“What we found there seems to be an increase in substandard properties in the communities,” Everett said, “and we’re looking at ways that we can accelerate that process and try to address some of those issues.”

The current budget amount is for $50,000; with the requested increase, the total amount goes up to $150,000.

Through collaboration of Code Enforcement, Neighborhood Services, Demolition Contractors, and the Neighborhood Revitalization Board, the reduction of substandard structures will be done within the city limits.

The Neighborhood Services is proposing to move more available funding in order to prevent blight structures in Tyler.

The second proposal that was addressed was new allocated funding from HOME-ARP funds, which will allow HUD to allocate $1,321,072 to be used to address the need for homelessness assistance and supportive services funding.

These grant funds are to be used primarily to benefit individuals and families in specific populations known as “qualifying populations.”

Qualifying Population:

  • An individual or family who lacks a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence.
  • An individual or family who will imminently lose their primary nighttime residence.
  • Unaccompanied youth under 25 years of age, or families with children and youth who do not qualify as homeless but may be “at risk” of becoming homeless.
  • An individual or family who is feeling or attempting to flee domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, human or labor trafficking.

The HOME-ARP funds will be used to construct and rehabilitate rental housing for occupancy by individuals and families that meet one of the qualifying populations, or for the use of rehabilitation of an acquired structure for use as an entry point or a gathering place by public service organizations, serving as temporary shelter for those under qualifying populations.

The city has approved the changes to be added to the amendments, so now the funds are contingent upon HUD approval.

Additionally, the council approved a $1,046,175 contract with Insituform Technologies, LLC to reduce flooding, repair deteriorated rainwater infrastructure.

Five locations will go under repair using cured-in-place-pipe (CIPP) lining.

The issues with the existing pipes allowed soil to enter, creating sinkholes in paved streets and unsaved areas.

The project is a trench less pipe repair restoration method used to repair existing pipes, which fully protects and strengthens pipes damaged by leaks, cracks, intruding roots and rust.

The lifespan of this process for the storm water lines is up to 100 years.

“This is the same process that has already been used on storm sewer pipes and extensively on sanitary sewer mains,” said Paul Neuhaus, environmental engineer. “The process doesn’t require any digging. A new lining is pushed inside an existing stormwater pipe, creating a new surface and restoring it to near new condition.”

Construction is set to begin at the end of March, and is projected to be completed by August of this year.

Locations include:

  • 3331 McMillan Drive to Dinah Lane
  • North Bonner Avenue underpass
  • North Bois D’Arc Avenue from West Summerkamp Street to the creek
  • 6295 Sutherland Drive to the creek
  • Brookview Court

Multimedia Reporter

Multimedia Reporter for Tyler Morning Telegraph Jennifer Scott - an Alabama native with a journalism degree from Troy University, moved from Houston to Tyler in 2021 to run a portrait studio. Along the way she rediscovered her passion for journalism and helping people tell their stories.

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