The South Corvallis Urban Renewal District secured a $135,000 grant, one of the first major investments in the district. The Republic Services Charitable Foundation formally announced their promise grant at the sixth annual Celebrate Southtown event on Thursday, June 6.
The event was held in the empty New Holland building on south 3rd Street, which neighborhood activists hope to transform into a neighborhood town center. The building is owned by Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services, one of the main organizations supporting the district. The Urban Renewal District was put to Corvallis voters as a ballot measure in March, and it passed overwhelmingly, with 85 percent in favor.
As The Advocate reported in early March, the establishment of an urban renewal district is essentially a tool which allows the city to make long-term investments in the development of south Corvallis. There is a specific list of projects not limited to the town center, including funding for affordable housing and infrastructure improvements and upgrades along Highway 99
Funding for the district is a fairly complicated property taxing structure, but one key component is active investment in these development projects, much like the investment Republic just made.
Corvallis Community Development Director Paul Bilotta told reporters at the event the City Council hopes to sit down with the Urban Renewal Plan as early as July or August to begin figuring out how to implement it.
By Ian MacRonald