News and Tribune

Floyd County

June 12, 2013

Commission approves firehouse deal

Coffey calls for audit of NSP project



He said the property was appraised at $350,000, but that the station would likely have to be razed to make way for the expansion. 



City Councilman and redevelopment member Dan Coffey requested and had approved a resolution requesting a state audit of the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. 

The $6.7 million NSP project has led to the rehabilitation of 32 properties in the Midtown neighborhood. 

Recently there have been some issues raised about the project, and the state has received a request from the city to review a potential conflict-of-interest issue regarding the purchase of a NSP house by Councilwoman Diane McCartin-Benedetti’s niece. 

Coffey said he just wants to see transparency in the program. 

“I don’t want anybody thinking this is a witch hunt,” Coffey said. 

However, administration officials said the NSP program is regularly audited by the State Board of Accounts. 

Duggins and other administration officials said they didn’t have a problem requesting another audit, though some commission members objected to the proposal as a duplication of services. 

Commission member Adam Dickey finally seconded Coffey’s motion as he labeled it “a reaffirmation of our commitment to transparency.” 

As for the conflict-of-interest probe over the potential house purchase by Benedetti’s niece, the minutes from the meeting in which the commission requested the review were approved Tuesday. 

The action now allows the city, in accordance with state procedure, to send the matter to the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority for review. 

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