Could a Habitat for Humanity home go up in Alta? Some are hoping so

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Darrell DePrez made a second request to the Alta City Council Monday to consider putting up a Habitat for Humanity home in the community.

Nine homes have been built by the Buena Vista County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity - all in Storm Lake and Lakeside. DePrez said the 10th home is being planned for. He said he would like to see a home built in Alta.

The Habitat homes are built using a set of specific guidelines and are 950- 1,100-square-feet, according to the family size. While the homes are put up with a great deal of volunteer labor professionals are needed to oversee the work of the volunteers. It was stressed at an earlier meeting with the council that there is a great number of professionals in Alta that could be advantageous to Habitat for Humanity.

The Habitat homes are built using a set of specific guidelines and are 950- 1,100-square-feet, according to the family size. The home owner is determined by an application process and selection committee; the home owner is required to put in at least 200 hours of volunteer labor and once the home is completed is given the mortgage. The costs are drastically reduced because of all the donated labor and often goods.

"In order for the home to be affordable," DePrez said, "we need an affordable lot."

He said that a lot was donated to the organization for house number eight in Lakeside which was wonderful. "I'm not here asking for someone to donate a lot but I am asking if there is any support that we can rely on to help defray the cost of a lot?"

DePrez said it would be ideal if the city and utilities could team up with a couple other entities to purchase a lot.

"I think it's a great thing," said council member Pam Henderson, and the other members agreed.

It was suggested that DePrez get lot prices and report back to the Council. He said within a couple of days he will respond with the information.

In other business, Chief od Police Mike McDonald told the council that he and firefighter Kirk Reetz recently completed training in how to debrief members of the fire and rescue after helping with tragedies - such as the recent tractor-train accident - that may come up.

He also requested that $500 be paid from the D.A.R.E. account to pay Aurelia Police Chief Gene Suhr who has stepped up to teach the D.A.R.E. program to the Alta fifth grade class this year in the absence of Police officer/D.A.R.E. instructor Dave Freese who has been deployed. the board approved the payment.

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