First Parrish St. historical markers to be unveiled Wednesday
One-time North Durham mini-golf site up for rezoning, transformation

BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for October 14, 2008

The print Herald-Sun's / Now 12% thinner / How will Bob Ashley / Wrap his fish dinner?

  • Excellent reporting by Ray Gronberg on the bankruptcy filing by local landlord of questionable repute "Fireball" White's Haskell Properties. Haskell faces almost $650k in debt on 36 properties worth $1.9 million. Only two of the properties are rented and most -- as readers of Endangered Durham know -- require extensive repairs. White, who reportedly is suffering from dementia, also reportedly failed to file federal income taxes for a decade and owes the City $57k for tearing down eight of his worst properties. (H-S)
  • Look for the historic landmark debate to heat up in next Monday's City Council meeting. Only five of the 15 recent filings were endorsed by the state, with most of the properties -- including some redevelopment efforts by local firms -- considered too architecturally changed in the state's mind to support the designation, which brings a 50% reduction in local property tax. (H-S)
  • The BOCC approved more development in southeastern Durham Co., approving an industrial light with development plan rezoning for a 51 acre tract on Chin Page Rd. that could support up to 1,300 homes, 150,000 sq. ft. of commercial and 550,000 sq. ft. of office space. (H-S)
  • Gronberg also details the Durham Housing Authority's struggles to spend all of -- but not more than -- the money it gets from HUD each year. As Gronberg recounts, unexpected Federal dollars in response to a previous year's deficit now means an unexpected, but likely shortlived, surplus (the Feds are likely to cut next year's allocation to make up for it.) The surplus would have supported almost 360 30 additional vouchers this year. (H-S)


Ellen Reckhow

The article in the Herald Sun on the Chin Page Raod development has several mistakes. The largest mistake is the statement that we approved a development with 1,300 homes, 500,000 square feet of office, and 150,000 square feet of commercial. That development, which abuts the project to the east, was approved earlier. In fact, last night we approved an office development with 550,000 square feet of office space (no other uses). I have asked the H-S to correct the story.

Jean Bolduc

Just a quick correction ... Ray's story said that the $1.3 million that DHA will lose next year would have supported 358 vouchers. That's incorrect ... it was actually 358 "unit months" (12 months per voucher) which translates to 30 vouchers.

The error was not Ray's ... he got this from one of our reports that incorrected described unit months as "unused vouchers." Probably should have said "unused unit months."

Also, while we did get half a million dollars in addition funding at mid-year, that's only a part of the underexpenditure of $2.9 million (in total). We can keep about half of that as a reserve, but the rest (about $1.3 million) will be recaptured out of next year's funding.

Thanks for th eopportuntiy to make the correction.

Jean Bolduc
Director, Corporate Communications
Durham Housing Authority

Kevin Davis

Ellen and Jean -- thanks. Now corrected.

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