CLYDE — Food insecurity and the lack of affordable rental units are ongoing issues in Clyde, a recent study concluded.
Karen Kiehna of McGill Associates updated town board members on the last phase of a grant to improve public amenities and housing opportunities in the community.
The process was slowed by COVID, said Kiehna, who serves as the grant administrator, noting virtual meetings had to be incorporated in the process.
The group used 2010 Census data and estimated 2019 town figures to craft recommendations designed to explore and improve issues from employment to food insecurity to small business assistance to downtown revitalization to disability access to fair housing and more.
“We looked at home ownership data, income and things like — do families have internet access, travel and commute times, the rental situation and population,” Kiehna said. “One thing we learned is that while the town’s population went down 6% in 10 years since the Census, median income went up about $4,000, from $61,180 to $64,000.”
Other numbers in the study revealed that food insecurity had increased over the decade, as did the lack of affordable, quality rentals.
“One primary area we need a hard focus on under fair housing activities is the access to quality rental housing,” Kiehna said. “You are deficient in the number of rental units, so we need to see if we can work with the nonprofits in the housing industry to help improve the situation within the next three years.”
Overall, while Clyde’s data revealed the town fell “generally a little lower than state statistics, the numbers are pretty solid,” Kiehna said.
Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Cody Greene brought town board members up to speed in his monthly report, showing his deputies logged 342 total calls for service, including 37 traffic stops, 50 suspicion people or vehicles and seven traffic accidents due to the snow.
Greene took a minute to highlight an arrest that involved a man charged on 26 counts of stolen mail.
Following the arrest, Greene said all the mail had been returned to the rightful owners.
“A lot of people think we’re just here to take people to jail and enforce laws,” said Greene, summarizing his report. “Where in reality, we’re all in the same mind-set. We need to be a community and build that trust. I want people to reach out and my deputies to interact with citizens because that’s how you build a community up.”
In other business the board:
• Approved Rhonda Smathers for a three-year-term to the Clyde Planning Board; Joan Kennedy to a three-year-term to the Clyde Board of Zoning Adjustments; and Jeana Brown to a two-year term to the Clyde Historic Commission;
• Approved amendments to the ordinance creating the Historic Preservation Commission of Clyde;
• Authorized the city to collect delinquent taxes that total around $38,000;
• Set a budget meeting for April 30;
• Approved $500 for Ladies Level Up, Haywood Habitat for Humanity project and $100 for Big Brothers Big Sisters.