State grant funds Kings County improvements

September 23, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Millions of dollars are being put to work for new homeownership, roads and emergency services in Kings County.

The main thoroughfare in the community of Home Garden is getting a new sidewalk to keep people and kids at a safer distance from cars. James Hurbard has been waiting 35 years for a sidewalk to be built on Home Street where he lives in the Kings County community.

"They walk to the store they catch the bus down there," Hurbard said.

Home Street is frequented by bicyclists, pedestrians and students walking to and from their bus stop, all share the street with cars and trucks coming through. The small community is getting a sidewalk complete with a sewer and gutter system thanks to part of a $2 million dollar state grant just awarded to Kings County.

"We can only do a portion of one street with that amount of money but it will be a big improvement for them," Chuck Kinney with the Kings County Development Agency.

Kinney says $500,000 of the grant will go towards Home Garden's sidewalks. One million dollars will help first-time homebuyers or those whose homes are in desperate need of repair.

"We've got waiting lists of people and as soon as this funding becomes available we're going to contact everybody on this waiting list," Kinney said.

The homeowner help will come in the form of a second loan that will supplement the cost of the home and won't need to be paid back until the mortgage is paid off. This will make monthly mortgage costs lower.

Kinney says the remaining half-million dollars of the state grant will go towards the Kettleman City Fire Department, whose fire engines aren't up to federal standards.

"The primary engine in Kettleman City is 18-years-old and their backup is 22-years-old they've had substantial repairs that have happened to both vehicles," Kenney said

Both the new sidewalks in Kettleman and Kettleman's City's new fire engine will be arriving by Sept. 2014. The city of Coalinga also received similar state funding they got $1 million.


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