Speaking before the Board of Public Works, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke called it the city's 'moral obligation.' On Thursday afternoon, Mayor Winnecke announced a unique partnership between the corporate community, a non-profit and the city will help them meet that obligation.
The owners of D-Patrick could receive around $8.3 million when the city purchases the downtown lot to make way for the IU Medical School expansion project. That land acquisition is expected to be finalized soon, officials said.
D-Patrick has been eyeing a blighted area just south of the Lloyd Expressway near Highway 41 to build it's new location. The new location is poised to become prime commercial real estate once the Lloyd Expressway - Highway 41 interchange project is complete. The potential purchase of that property will displace dozens of people living there now. However, Mayor Winnecke announced a partnership that will provide financial assistance to those residents.
The City will take $20,000 from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. That fund is comprised of left over riverboat money. The money will be granted to the Memorial Community Development Corporation, the non-profit arm of Memorial Baptist Church led by Rev. Adrian Brooks. The Memorial CDC will administer that grant money, Mayor Winnecke said.
"The grant money could be used for any number of things. It certainly can be used for deposits for new properties; first month's rent; maybe it's a utility deposit," Mayor Winnecke said. "We'll let the folks at the Memorial CDC get into the nuts and bolts of how the grant money is administered."
The City's contribution is just one part of the equation. D-Patrick will reimburse the City once the transition is complete, Mayor Winnecke said.
"It's a great three-way partnership but we didn't want charitable funds to go out for our moving our business," said Mike O'Daniel, the Co-President of D-Patrick.
"They have proven to be good corporate citizens," said City Councilwoman Connie Robinson. We're doing what is right. We're doing what she should do."
Come August, Debbie Rushing will no longer call Kerth Avenue home. Moving is never easy but this grant money is certainly welcome, she said.
"People don't realize it. When you start putting $400 for a deposit, $500 dollars for rent and then all the money to move, you're looking at some money," Rushing said.