Rapid City affordable housing project stays alive but not without stipulations

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The Rapid City Legal & Finance Committee approved the cancellation of community development block grant funding if the Freeland Ranch proposed development doesn't meet certain deadlines.

As for now, they will move forward with the project.

The first date on the time-line is on Oct. 1. At that time they must have extension on the irrevocable line of credit for the $120,000 the city gave president and CEO of Hagg Development, Kent Hagg, two years ago.

The second deadline is May 1, 2019; when Hagg has to prove he has funding for the project.

The third spot on the time-line is March 10, 2020. The city will evaluate to make sure Hagg is staying on track with the plan.

The city says they offered Hagg the money in 2015 and he would need to complete 12 units with at least seven of them as affordable units.

To complete the project, there has to be people living in those homes within the next two years.

Community Development Block Grant manager, Barb Garcia, says “So there's a worry whether the project will get done in time and we could lose those funds. If we lose them, then we lose them permanently. It's not just we have to pay them back right now, but they will reduce our total amount annually by that so it's very important that we keep close track on progress of projects.”

Hagg says some of the money from the city didn't come until 2016 and the rest in 2017.

While the city says there has been no progress, Hagg states they have performed soil testing and many other items that are necessary when doing a construction project.

Garcia says the time-line of the project is aggressive, but Hagg says it's doable.

“We'll proceed with the submission of different requests for rezoning, plan developments, and so forth," Hagg said. "Those always have a back and forth dialog essentially with our engineers and the cities, so those are a bit malleable, but the ones that are hard that we will definitely be able to meet is identifying a funding source by May one and also an irrevocable line of credit renewal."

Garcia recommended moving forward to see if Hagg could meet the first two deadlines.

But, most of the Legal and Finance Committee members say they will not support the project if Hagg doesn't make the first deadline.