Friday, January 04, 2008

Casa Grande to try to save Fisher and Meehan-Gaar homes

[Source: Harold Kitching, Casa Grande Dispatch] -- Casa Grande's Housing and Community Development Department is stepping in to see what can be done to save two historic buildings that the Central City Redevelopment District Subcommittee has pointed out are in danger of being lost because of deterioration and neglect. They are the 1903 Meehan-Gaar House on First Street near Sacaton Street and the Fisher Memorial Home (pictured) at Eighth Street and Olive Avenue, a former funeral home built in 1927. The subcommittee had taken its complaints to the City Council, leading to a decision to hire, at city expense, inspectors qualified in historical renovation to see if the buildings can be saved. Nothing was firm on how the renovations would be financed. A switch came at this month's subcommittee meeting when Planning and Development Director Rick Miller said that Housing Director Rosa Bruce has the experience and the methods of funding, including grants, to step into the picture.

"Rosa, through her program, has been able to assist owner-occupied residents who qualify for three pretty good programs to help them do what we all want to accomplish, and that is to get these things stabilized," he said. It was pointed out that Bruce's programs are not limited to just historic structures and that other residents are able to call her office to ask about assistance. "It occurred to us when Rick and I were talking that it looks like we have sort of parallel conversations with you, what my division is doing, what this committee is trying to achieve, and we would just love to contribute any way that we can," Bruce told the subcommittee. "We've been very successful in getting funding for historical structures, or at least structures that have some kind of significance, and we have done several of them in the city." Bruce said it would fall under the Neighborhood Revitalization Division's owner-occupied housing program, which the city has had since 1975. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]