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Justice Department, HUD hold “fact finding’ meeting tonight on downtown redevelopment

The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will host a fact finding meeting tonight on the controversial downtown redevelopment plan, dubbed “the blight bill,” including its eminent domain and assemblage issues. The meeting will be held at the New Providence Outreach Center, 207 Oak Street, in Clarksville at 7:00 p.m.

The redevelopment plan was first brought to the attention of federal officials this summer, when local NAACP President Jimmie Garland submitted some concerns to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The plan as it was passed contained language that effectively “blighted” the entire downtown business district — two square miles.

Angry residents challenge the redevelopment ordinance at a series of public meetings on the issue

Property owners, in response to this legislation, formed the Clarksville Property Rights Coalition to challenge this ordinance.William Dirl, field office director of the Nashville HUD office, expressed concerns in a letter to Clarksville Mayor Johnny Piper that the redevelopment plan did not emphasize providing housing rehabilitation to existing residents nor did it protect low to moderate home owners from eminent domain abuse.

Representatives from the NAACP, Clarksville Property Rights Coalition and the Institute for Justice a national advocacy group supporting the community will  attend the meeting.

Elected officials, community leaders have been invited to attend. The meeting is also open to interested members of the public and the media.

For more information please contact meeting coordinator Mr. Terry McMoore, Director, Urban Resource Center at (931) 378-1999 or Jimmie Garland, NAACP President, at (931) 216-6745


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