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King George officials are talking publicly again about plans for a complex with a raft of services for low-income residents
Above is a rendering of what the King George help center facility would look like.
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"You can't have any commercial activities going on here," he said. "I'm not sure I support this, but I'll let it go to the public hearing."
In drawing up the agreement, County Attorney Matt Britton couldn't list everything that is not allowed, so he tried to list what is allowed, Grzeika said.
Agencies and amenities listed are: social services, child protective services, health services, the Cooperative Extension office, community college, Goodwill Industries, the free clinic, a commercial kitchen, state probation and parole prison re-entry programs, Project FAITH and a multipurpose room.
There have been rumblings that the HELP Center would take away business from current landlords, who rent to the various agencies that would be housed in the new complex, said Anita Churchill, president of the King George Chamber of Commerce.
"I think we just need to take our time and look at the complete picture before a decision is made," she said this week.
But the county already had plans to build some sort of complex, in the Government Center, for agencies such as the Department of Social Services and the Health Department, Brooks said.
Workers in those buildings have said for years that their space is outdated and too small. Agencies have been making plans to move elsewhere, either into a county-owned facility or the new center built by Project FAITH, Supervisor Ruby Brabo told those gathered at her town-hall meeting on March 29.
"Either way, businesses are not going to be relocating to other commercial facilities here in King George," she said.
Brabo added how much Project FAITH has brought to the community. "I feel that Fronce Wardlaw truly is a visionary," she said.
Brooks said he's looking forward to hearing public opinion about the HELP Center at Tuesday's hearing. Supervisors probably won't vote on the issue that night, he said.
The performance agreement includes a fairly tight construction schedule--and makes it clear the property will go back to the county if Project FAITH fails to meet any of the terms.
The agreement calls for construction to begin by Feb. 28, 2013, and for the building with fountains, angels and covered walkways to be finished by Aug. 1, 2014.
To meet that schedule, and to start processing the paperwork needed for the various grants, Wardlaw said she'd like to begin work in earnest by May 1.
Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425
KING GEORGE PUBLIC HEARINGS SET FOR NEXT WEEK'S MEETINGFEBRUARY 2009: King George supervisors unanimously support design and plans for the HELP Center. MARCH 2010: Supervisors request state and federal grants, tax credits and low-interest loans for construction. The county won't provide money for the project but has to apply for the various grants because Project FAITH, which will build the center, is a nonprofit and can't. OCTOBER 2010: Supervisors agree to give 5.5 acres in the Government Center to the project. The county and Project FAITH sign a memorandum of agreement. DECEMBER 2010: About 30 supporters of the HELP Center encourage supervisors to move forward, but they say little publicly about the project. JANUARY 2011: As Supervisor Cedell Brooks Jr. recovers from a stroke, he meets with fellow Supervisor Dale Sisson Jr., and the two share their support of the project. That is all that is said about the center during public meetings in 2011. FEBRUARY 2012: Brooks says he has met with Project FAITH's Fronce Wardlaw about the center to "see what we can do about that to try and make it happen." MARCH 2012: Supervisors get the signed performance agreement from Wardlaw and agree to hold a public hearing on the matter on April 17.