Athens Co. Commissioners Approve Habitat Loan

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The Athens County chapter of Habitat for Humanity is one step closer to relocating its Re-Store operations, thanks to a loan from the Athens County commissioners.

Commissioners approved a loan Thursday of $110,000 to cover the purchase of the old Lucky Dog liquor store building on West Union Street.

The project will be covered by a federal community development block grant, but due to the timing of the grant process, the money may not be available by the January 31 closing date on the property.

Glen Crippen, with Hocking Athens Perry Community Action, says the block grant money is expected to be paid out to the county in February.

Missing the January 31 closing date on the property would mean having to re-negotiate the land deal and could push back the grant awarding process.

According to Ken Oehlers, Athens County Habitat for Humanity executive director, the new building is more than 2500 square feet larger than the current building on State Route 682 in The Plains.

"We have a lot of closed off space in the current building that makes it difficult to use it," said Oehlers.

The move is expected to create two new jobs as a result.

The loan money comes from the county's revolving loan fund.

Commissioners had already committed $8,800 in grant money to the project. Habitat for Humanity will be responsible for repaying the remaining $101,200.