Albion wants LDC to fix up homes, push economic development

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 July 2014 at 12:00 am

ALBION – A decade ago Albion village officials pushed to create a local development corporation that would focus on economic development and housing renewal.

In 2005, a board of directors was named to the LDC and the group was ready to pursue grant funding and partnerships. Ed Salvatore was the mayor at the time. In March 2006 he lost his re-election bid by 2 votes. The Albion Housing and Economic Development LDC lost steam and never got going.

Dean London was police chief back then and favored the LDC and its push to turn around vacant properties. London is now Albion’s newly elected mayor and he wants to activate the LDC. He met on Wednesday with some of the LDC board’s original members: Salvatore, Richard DeCarlo Sr., John Gavenda and Ron Vendetti.

London said the group needs to pursue 501c3 status to become eligible for more grants. The LDC also needs more board members.

“We’re in the initial stages of organizing the board,” he said after Wednesday evening.

He sees many vacant houses or homes that are in disrepair. Many of the sites require more investment in repairs than the houses could be sold for. The LDC could find housing grants that could be used to help offset some of those renovations, to make repairing houses financially feasible for homeowners.

The village worked with PathStone (the former Rural Opportunities) about a decade ago with some of these projects, where PathStone received the grant and upgraded houses, sometimes spending $20,000 to $40,000 on overhauls. The houses were then sold at a loss for the costs to renovate them.

However those projects resulted in owner-occupied homes and less blight in neighborhoods.

“We want to seek loans and grants and invest in housing,” London said about the LDC. “We could also pursue loans for business start-ups. The possibilities are endless. We just need to get it finalized.”