GREENWOOD, Miss. — Bill Crump says recent setbacks for the Baptist Town project won’t prevent it from moving forward.
“We are committed to getting this project completed one way or another,” the chairman of the Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Economic Development Foundation said.
Two new setbacks recently were added to the list of challenges the project has faced since its inception in 2010.
The bill to redirect 26 “Katrina cottages” donated to the city of Greenwood by the Federal Emergency Management Agency was not picked up during a special session of the Legislature in June.
The bill would have given the city, which now owns the cottages, the authority to donate them to the Fuller Center, a nonprofit charged with installing the permanent houses. The city does not have the legal authority to make such a donation; it can only sell the cottages as surplus property.
The cottages are the kind of small structures used to provide housing on the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. The new, brightly colored homes, which are to be installed in Baptist Town to help revitalize the century-old black neighborhood in Greenwood, are sitting at the local airport.
The project encountered a second bump in the road recently, when Crump’s team decided to pull out of its partnership with the Foundation for the Mid-South, the organization managing the grant money for the installment of the cottages.
Crump said the decision came about because the Foundation for the Mid-South did not feel that the Fuller Center was qualified to handle the project.
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