The Ashland City Council will consider whether to award $345,000 in federal affordable housing grants to the Jackson County Housing Authority for a project on Clay Street.

The City Council will consider whether to award $345,000 in federal affordable housing grants to the Jackson County Housing Authority for a project on Clay Street.

The federal Community Development Block Grants pass through the city to recipients of the City Council's choosing.

The council meets at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Ashland Civic Center, 1175 E. Main St.

The Housing Authority would like to use the money to pay for sidewalks, gutters and other street improvements for a joint city and Housing Authority project planned on Clay Street.

The project still must go through the regular land-use planning process, which includes a review by the Ashland Planning Commission.

On Nov. 4, the City Council decided to pursue the project when it approved a swap of city land along with city and Housing Authority funds for the 10-acre Clay Street property.

The city will give $620,000 in cash, land on Strawberry Lane valued at $1.2 million and a small parking lot on Lithia Way valued at $500,000. The Housing Authority will kick in $1.28 million in cash.

The total value of the assets is $3.6 million.

A June appraisal pegged the value of the Clay Street land at $3.2 million, down from an appraised value of $3.94 million in July 2007.

The Housing Authority will apply for more than $11 million in state and federal funding to build the project.

Because of the outside money the Housing Authority can bring in for the project, awarding the $345,000 in Community Development Block Grants means there would be a match of about $33 for every $1 of CDBG money spent, according to a memo from Ashland Housing Specialist Linda Reid to the City Council.

In other business Tuesday night, the council is scheduled to:

consider whether to halt plans to pave upper Beach Street because a majority of residents on the street sent a letter to the city in October saying they oppose paving; consider whether to make any changes to the city's grant program for social services and consider whether to dissolve the Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission and the Traffic Safety Commission in order to form an integrated Transportation Commission.

For a complete list of agenda items and details on each item, visit www.ashland.or.us/Page.asp?NavID=11470.

Staff writer Vickie Aldous can be reached at 479-8199 or vlaldous@yahoo.com. To post a comment, visit www.dailytidings.com.