City of Morristown

The city of Morristown will have a half-million dollars of Department of Housing and Urban Development grant funds for rehab of owner-occupied homes this year to supplement the money city government typically receives in Community Development Block Grant moneys for the same purpose, officials announced Tuesday afternoon.

While the grant amounts for the two programs were not available this morning, the HUD grants are for larger-ticket home repairs, according to Joey Barnard, assistant city administrator, who says the timetable for distributing the funds is currently unknown.

Before any homeowner gets any money, a public hearing will be held to explain the application process. The Knoxville Community Develop Corporation will accept and rate the grant applications. Two factors the KCDC will consider are household income and the urgency of the need, according to Barnard.

The HUD grants are awarded on a competitive basis. The last time Morristown received the HUD funds was in 2015, according to the assistant city administrator. Morristown moved up the list this year because of the relatively severe impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Tennessee Housing Development Agency.

The $500,000 includes grant-administration costs.

The coronavirus pandemic was also a factor in the Morristown Police Department getting an additional $22,000 to supplement an $18,000 grant already approved for DUI saturation patrols. Since the coronavirus outbreak, police departments across the state have not been able to conduct enhanced DUI enforcement, which involves close contact with dozens of motorists.

The unused DUI-enforcement moneys were put back into a pot and redistributed. The MPD plans to use the extra $22,000 to buy mobile-data terminals, or in-car computers.