MOROCCO — After the Town of Morocco’s application for an Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) grant was not awarded in the most recent round, the town council has decided to go in a different direction.
“It is going to be very hard to get the OCRA grant for the water tower,” said Town Council President Bob Gonczy. “It is one of the most competitive grants out there. I say we hold off on that project and not apply for it for the next round and go toward the Blight grant instead.”
Gonczy added that there are three locations in town he would like the council to declare as blighted — the old hotel at 309 E. State Street, the old Mann’s Feed Store at 303 S. Polk Street, and the old laundromat at 212 S. Polk Street.
“This is not a competitive grant and the local match is only 10 percent,” added Gonczy.
Local businessman Shaun Wynn informed the council that the old hotel is the number one eyesore in town and has been for more than 10 years.
“The downtown is looking great and there are just a few eyesores left,” said Wynn. “The old hotel also has pest issues and it is time the town steps up. The town has a safety obligation.”
The council decided to start the process of applying for the Blight grant through OCRA for the three named locations.
In other news, Dan Blaney informed the council that the Morocco Lion’s Club has voted to donate their clubhouse to the town but would like the town to pay for providing air conditioning to its bingo stand at the fair.
Blaney said it would cost around $12,000 to get everything ready and have the air conditioning installed at the fairgrounds.
The council took no action of the request and will negotiate further with the Lion’s Club.
The council also set Trick or Treating hours as 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.