Workcamp volunteers perform ‘miracles’

Over the summer, about 200 volunteers from 13 states spent a week in Middletown repairing the homes of low-income owners, Jeff Diver, executive director of SELF (Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families), told council last week.

The group performed 9,820 hours of free labor, he said. The workers repaired 35 homes, including 22 that had building code violations, and spent $15,000 locally on supplies with $26,000 projected to be spent by the end of the year as some of the projects continue, he said.

“It’s a blessing to be able to do this stuff,” Diver said.

Diver said the group painted 28 exteriors, 17 interiors, built or repaired seven wheelchairs ramps, seven porches and every home was inspected for smoke detectors, CO detectors and the American Red Cross provided “vials of life” with emergency and health information.

One of those assisted was Jacki Cornett, who lives in the 1900 block of Hummingbird Court. Cornett, who is legally blind, also suffers from a disorder that makes her unsteady on her feet. She has used a wheelchair for the last two years, she said.

Now, since a wheelchair ramp was built by the volunteers, Cornett, 40, can get out of her home and to the car without being carried down the steps by her husband, Randy. She has regained some of her independence, she said.

“They worked miracles,” she said of the volunteers. “They were my angels.”

Before the campers left for the summer, they donated canned goods to the Hope House Rescue Mission, Diver said.

Diver also praised several Middletown businesses for their support of the project by feeding the volunteers. The campers were housed at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

The Group Workcamps blitz weeks alternate every summer between Middletown and Hamilton. They will be in Hamilton the week of June 15, 2014.

Oberson’s wins contract

Oberson’s Nursery and Landscapes Inc. was awarded the contract to build a landscreen of trees and shrubs between Village East Apartments and Interstate 75 in the city’s East End. There were two bids, and Oberson’s bid of $146,000 was the lowest. The city will be reimbursed $120,000 by the state for the project, which is expected to be complete later this fall.

Weatherwax loan payment made

Because of what Councilman Josh Laubach described as a “good month” in August at Weatherwax Golf Course, the city made a $73,000 payment on its loan. The city is projected to subsidize Weatherwax operations this year about $375,000 to $425,000, which includes a $220,000 debt payment for renovations made there in the 1990s.

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