At the Good Neighbor Action Team kick-off meeting on March 18, there was lots of energy and ideas, according to Craig Campbell who is spearheading the helping group.
Following are the notes from Campbell about the meeting.
“We have started a curbside limb pick up.
“Starts today (March 19) and will go until no longer needed.
“We would appreciate assistance when loading at the property, if able, and a donation to the GNAT in care of the city.
“They would text 620-224-0167 to schedule the service.
“We lead off the meeting with a talk by (Bourbon County Appraiser) Clint Anderson. It is a common misconception that maintaining your home such as paint, window repair, siding repair, will increase the valuation and thus increase taxes.
“We had similar concerns during the East Wall Street Blitz in May 2015.
“At that time, we had Judy Wallis, county appraiser, attend a meeting with residents to go over the specifics of the effects of repairs on property valuations.
“If painting were to take a house on the appraiser list from sub standard to standard, that would raise the valuation slightly. To offset that, the homeowner can apply for a Neighborhood Revitalization Program waiver of 95% of the increase for 5 to 15 years depending on the type of property.
This program is available for repairs, renovations, or new construction at any time.
“Next, new (Fort Scott) city manager Jeremy Frazier spoke about his experience with a similar group to GNAT called Cushing Pride. They had monthly work days to pick up trash, paint, and other things.
“Bailey Lyons is organizing a downtown clean up for April 16th at 3 p.m.
“It was thought that we would use that time coupled with Earth Day on the 22nd to have a GNAT clean up day on Saturday the 17th from 8-11 a.m.
“The location of the effort will be determined in the next couple of days.
“We are most likely going to have a standing day of projects going forward.
“The team liked the idea of every 3rd Saturday from 8-11 a.m.
“We would start with a few minutes of donuts and coffee, conversation, then work. We will still assist citizens with individual projects.
“We are exploring having a t-shirt for volunteers and may seek corporate sponsorship to preserve the GNAT funds.
“We are creating a team of volunteers that will assist citizens to fill out forms from the USDA 504 Repair program.
“Many times people contact us to volunteer but the physical work is not possible.
“Helping people complete government forms and assist in the follow up is a great what for them to help.
“These forms allow homeowners to apply for grants and/or low interest loans up to $15,000. These grants or loans can be used to repair heating or cooling units, roofs, winterize windows and doors, painting, to name just a few.
“We have set a goal of bringing into Bourbon County $200,000 in 2021.”