JRA Could Bail Out City on Farish Problems | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

JRA Could Bail Out City on Farish Problems

Officials from the city of Jackson and the Jackson Redevelopment Authority say the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development seems open to granting those bodies an extension to come up with a plan of action in response to a recent federal probe.

Earlier this month, HUD told the city that the federal agency wanted a refund of $1.5 million used to buy buildings on Farish Street in 1997.

In the meantime, HUD barred the city, JRA and others involved in Farish Street development from working with HUD funds, a significant source of revenue for Jackson and other cities.

At last night's Jackson City Council meeting, members were scheduled to vote on a repayment plan of $503,603 each year for three years, commencing 2016, but that proposal was moved off the main agenda into the city's Budget Committee for consideration.

Council President and Ward 4 Councilman De'Keither Stamps said the city would request an extension on the 30-day requirement to answer HUD's demands and city officials. That meeting is scheduled for the afternoon of Sept. 25 at City Hall.

JRA, which is a separate quasi-governmental body, is considering paying the $1.5 million itself. The city's timeline of starting repayment in 2016 would prevent JRA from moving forward with development plans on Farish Street as well as with other JRA projects that use HUD money.

Even though HUD's letter was to the city, JRA officials also met with HUD and are coming up with a plan of action as well.

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