Thursday, January 24, 2008

Congressman Mahoney Speaks

Congressman Speaks To House On Behalf Of Moore Haven

MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- In a recent speech Congressman Tim Mahoney spoke to the House of Representatives to pass legislations for the Main Street Grant program. Mahoney gave Moore Haven as an example of how the grants can be used to develop new housing and other projects for Moore Haven. 

Mahoney said, "Moore Haven is one of the oldest cities in South Florida.  This beautiful old sleepy Florida town is home to one doctor, Dr. Geek, and one restaurant.  It is one of the few places left in Florida where the families have lived there for generations and everyone knows their neighbor.  

"Unfortunately, it is also one of the poorest areas in the State.  The population of the City is approximately 1,900 and the annual tax revenue for all of Glades County is $6 million.  The people of Moore Haven have the desire to revitalize their historic downtown area, but, they lack the financial resources.

Mahoney continued, "Guided by the vision and leadership of Tracy Whirls, the Executive Director of the Glades County Economic Development Council, Moore Haven applied for a HOPE VI Main Street grant last year.  The city had hoped to use the money to purchase three historic- but dilapidated and vacant – buildings with the intention of attracting businesses to the first floors and 12 affordable housing units on the upper levels.  Plans for the first floors included opening Moore Haven's only pharmacy and furniture store. 

But Mahoney told the House, "Moore Haven was not successful in its attempt to secure the grant.  The good news is that they are game and they're going to apply for it again this year, but I believe that it is imperative that as we continue to give Moore Haven and small rural cities like Moore Haven across this great nation this opportunity. 

"Mr. Chairman, in closing I would like to leave you with the words of Larry Luckey, the Glades County Property Appraiser: "If we are unable to save these historic commercial building, the downtown historic district will cease to exist.  I am saddened at the thought that we may well become a city with no history."

To gain the passage of the act, Mahoney concluded, "I would ask for the support of my colleagues to preserve the HOPE VI Main Street Grant Program, and the economy and history of small towns throughout America, including Moore Haven.  In addition, with the passage of my amendment, we will ensure that rural communities continue to have access to the affordable housing benefits provided by the HOPE VI program."   

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