Housing authority awarded stimulus money

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Funds going for new Twilight Towers boilers; Lincoln Hills, port authority eye appropriations

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY - Tell City's Housing Authority will receive $318,829 in federal stimulus money to replace aging boilers at Twilight Towers, local officials learned last week.

Ninth District Congressman Baron Hill announced the first round of funding for Tell City Friday. He said funds come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed by President Barack Obama.  

Funds will come to the city through a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and will allow inefficient boilers to be replaced, helping lower monthly natural-gas bills, Authority Director Bobbi Polster said.

"Without these funds it was going to take two years complete the upgrades. Now, we should be able to complete the changes this year," she said.

The oldest boilers are original to the 1970 first phase of the building and have required significant investment over the years, Polster said, but remain only about 65-percent efficient. New boilers will carry an efficiency rating of close to 95 percent.

Boilers in a 1982 addition to Twilight Towers will also be replaced.

Polster said she would present quotes for the work to HUD in coming days.

Twilight Towers offers 129 apartments to individuals and married couples and is home to about 150 people.  

Polster hopes other federal stimulus money given to HUD will provide additional financial help some elderly and lower-income residents need to pay their rents.

Community Investment

Hill touted the money as a sound investment in the community.

"I am pleased to report that just two weeks after I voted for the economic recovery package we are beginning to see funds flow directly into our local communities," he said.  "This funding is critical in the joint effort to create jobs and improve infrastructure."

According to a news release issued by HUD, the funds are to be used by the Tell City Housing Authority for capital and management activities, including modernization and development of public housing.

Hill's office announced Thursday that funding for two local projects is included in an omnibus appropriations bill passed Wednesday by the U.S. House of Representatives.

The first gives $380,000 to the Perry County Port Authority to replace two rail bridges, allowing the Hoosier Southern Railroad to safely transport heavier loads.

The second appropriation would give Lincoln Hills Development Corp. $95,000 to replace several heating and air-conditioning units in the organization's main office at Main and Washington streets. Those units weren't replaced when the office was expanded and renovated several years ago.

The Senate will take up the bill this week.