August 3, 2015
President Billy Franke called the meeting to order.
Eric Montgomery led the Club in the Pledge of Allegiance and the opening invocation. Susan Barcus introduced our visitors. Last week's CART sponsor was Guy Daniels and $286 was contributed.
The ever-popular Brad Means brought the Sunshine Report. Items of interest: 25 days until the start of college football; the 8 weeks of school vacation ends this week; $7.7 billion will be spent across the country for school clothes and $2.4 billion for books; and 500,000 school buses will be hitting the roads.
President Billy reminded everyone that this Friday evening is the Club and guest attendance at the Green Jackets baseball game. If you have not signed up, please do so by Wednesday.
Phil Wahl introduced our speaker for the day. Lou Schulman is the President and CEO of Builders of Hope, a non-profit organization based in Raleigh, NC. It has assembled a staff of experts in design, construction, financing and development to assist cities in the redevelopment of blighted or substandard neighborhoods. It was started in Raleigh by Nancy Welsh who had the idea of combining private and local government funding to improve and rehabilitate existing housing in central city areas.
Builders of Hope is now bringing its expertise to the management and development of the Laney-Walker Bethlehem Community in Augusta. The city has previously attempted redevelopment work in this area but over five years, just 25 homes were constructed. The approach now being taken by Builders of Hope is to have new roads, sidewalks and street lights which will be funded by a federal grant. It is building 34 homes that will sell in the $130,000 range. The homes are extremely nice with all the amenities that any middle class homebuyer would want. The cost of construction exceeds the selling price by 40%-50%, and the difference is paid by city funds from the housing bonds that are serviced by a portion of the local hotel tax.
After the current 34 homes, there are 10 more homes planned at a starting price of $125,000. By the end of 2016, 60 homes are planned to have been constructed. Also in the spring of 2016, space will have been completed for retailers to operate in the redeveloped neighborhood.
In other cities where Builders of Hope has led redevelopment projects, there has been a dramatic drop in crime. Also, buyers are screened by mortgage companies to make sure they have the means to not only pay the mortgage but to maintain the property. Sustainability is also enhanced by using high quality materials and construction techniques.
President Billy led the Club in the recitation of the Four-Way Test and the meeting was adjourned.
Upcoming Meeting Topics
8/10/2015 Cynde Covington, Polio Presentation
8/17/2015 Turner Simkins, Local Author "Possibilities"
8/24/2015 United Way Kickoff
8/31/2015 Fran Forehand, GA Power
Inside Challenger: Dave Brendza
Outside Challenger: ADP
Mary Catherine Quinn
Builders of Hope
Ray Walters 7-20-15 Augusta West
Ray Walters 7-27-15 Augusta South
The following will receive a make up for attending the Red Badge Orientation meeting on August 3, 2015.