By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
The city council has approved an agreement to begin a marketing and development program for housing during its meeting Tuesday.
Under terms of the agreement, the Zanola Company LLC will provide communication and marketing foundations; gather testimonials to enlighten builders and developers to the city’s quality of life and appeal as a positive growing community; provide marketing communication and training; develop a home building process guide; to publish online and in paper form the guide; to do a marketing campaign quick start with the “just right web site,” an online campaign of monthly e-mails, blogs and web updates to entice interest from builders, developers, suppliers subcontractors and other professionals associated with home building; and to conduct a professional outreach campaign quick start.
The city will pay Zanola a total of $61,110 for the project, with an initial amount of $7,500 due at the start.
According to City Manager Ron Neibert, the plan and housing study conducted last year was in response to a “critical issue” of a decrease of almost 1,000 population as indicated in the 2010 census.
“We knew we were creating jobs, but most of the people being employed were not living in the city, and many not even in Jefferson County,” Neibert explained. “We found there is a need for housing, and now we’re working to address that issue. ... We need homes to support the economic growth of Mt. Vernon.”
In other business, the city council: