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Council to consider a little help

The Interfaith Care Community will ask the Ashland City Council for funds to help homeless people escape their situation.

The council will consider the request during its regular meeting set for 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

At that meeting, the council will hold a public hearing and consider how to allocate $360,800 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds that can be used for affordable housing projects as well programs to help the homeless and other special-needs groups.

The ICC is proposing to use $32,000 to pay for a new staff person who would help homeless and special needs people develop the necessary life skills to transition out of homelessness and emergency housing, according to the council information packet for the meeting.

The Ashland Community Land Trust, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity, also has applied for $328,000 to buy an existing duplex and develop two additional units at the rear of the property for affordable housing.

The Rogue Valley Community Development Corporation is asking for $360,800 to help buy land to develop six affordable housing units.

The Ashland Housing Commission reviewed the grant requests in March and recommended that the city council award $328,800 to the Ashland Land Trust and grant $32,000 to the ICC.

In other business Tuesday night, the council is scheduled to confirm Mayor John Morrison&

s appointment of Columbia River Gorge Executive Director Martha Bennett as Ashland&

s new city administrator. Bennett will earn $10,023 per month for her first six months on the job. After a satisfactory six-month performance evaluation, she will earn $10,422 per month, or $125,064 annually. Among other benefits, Bennett also will receive a $400 monthly car allowance.

She begins on May 22. City Administrator Gino Grimaldi has accepted a position as city manager for Springfield.

Other agenda items include hearing a report on a Community Emergency Response Team visioning retreat; considering a recommendation from the Oregon Department of Transportation Railroad Division to close the railroad crossing at Glenn Street and limit the crossing at Laurel Street; hearing a request to amend Ashland Community Hospital Articles of Incorporation; setting a public hearing to form a Local Improvement District for Plaza Avenue street and sidewalk improvements; changing contracting rules; and hearing a request from Councilor David Chapman to make comments on a proposed federal Environmental Protection Agency change to air pollution standards.

For detailed information on agenda items, visit the city&

s Web site at www.ashland.or.us. Click on &

Council business&

in the left column and then click on the April 4 agenda packet.