City renews first-time homebuyer program

Getting the keys to a new house will be a little easier for more first-time homebuyers after Tuesday’s Marathon City Council meeting.

Council members unanimously approved $100,000 more for the city’s First Time Homebuyer Assistance Program, which provides a $10,000 grant from the city to assist with the costs of buying a house.

“We think it’s successful enough we should ask you for authority to move ahead with another 100,000. It’s been very successful,” City Planner George Garrett told council members. He said there is no shortage of people applying.

So far, 23 first-time homebuyers have received the grant since the program was created in 2010. It provides a $10,000 loan from the city to assist with the costs of buying a house in the area from Conch Key south to Big Pine Key. The council expanded the application area to homes outside the city limits in October.

If the property is resold or refinanced, the money goes back to the city. The loan is forgiven if the homeowner remains in the home for 30 years.

Also Tuesday:

▪ Public Works and Engineering Director Carlos Solis talked about erosion at Coco Plum Beach and proposed three options for preserving the beach, the third of which council members approved.

It will take a few years for permitting to be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other federal agencies before work can start, Solis said, but the option of several T-shaped rock grounds in the water was given a thumbs-up at a cost of $1.26 million.

▪ Council members agreed to hold a workshop about changing food truck rules in the city. Extending hours of operation and licensing will be discussed.

▪ Marathon resident Josh Mothner was approved to build four three-bedroom affordable housing units on 51st Street bayside.

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219