The Harlan City Council approved the 2014 Harlan Housing study conducted by SWIPCO. In a meeting Tuesday, John McCurdy from SWIPCO gave a final presentation on the housing study. McCurdy says there are three main factors driving the housing market in Harlan, “One is attrition. That is the number of homes, because of age, need to be replaced. Another is demographic change that is through the changing population even if you don’t add another person, the changes in demographic will drive. We have smaller household sizes which drive up the demand for housing units. And the third is that there is an increase in income particularly in middle to upper income. We have a pretty steady number of low to moderate income but there is a group that does have some money to spend on housing units.”
He says based on the factors, Harlan would need to make changes annually to keep up with the housing stock, “So our conclusion from the study is based on attrition, the city would need to rehabilitate or replace 10 low to moderate income, typically rental units a year, to keep the housing stock. Based on demographic change, another 10 housing units and those would be of all varying types, would be needed to maintain the housing stock. And then because of this increased affordability or increased income, the higher ends, there is a demand for at least 5 new construction and we turned that into the $165,000 or above range.”
In other business, the Harlan City Council approved a grant application for “The Jacket Store ,” on Market Street, for a new awning, storm door, window, tuck pointing and painting. The grant money is through the downtown upper story/façade funding. The total cost of the project amounts to just over $9,874, with the grant at a 50 percent share of slightly more than $4,937.
And, City Administrator Terry Cox reported to the board the city will go out for bidding on the Runway 15/33 Pavement Rehabilitation Project at the Harlan Municipal Airport. The council will act on those bids on Tuesday, July 15th. Cox also mentioned the Harlan Aquatic Center saw an increase of $8,475 from 2013 in season tickets for families, singles and daily visitors.