NWGHA to put hold on parties at Division Street gym

Northwest Georgia Housing Authority Director Sandra Hudson (from left) makes notes as Director of Resident Services Molly Majestic reports on issues at the Division Street gym. NWGHA Board Chairwoman Lee Hight reviews some paperwork at right.

Doug Walker/RN-T

The Northwest Georgia Housing Authority is putting a temporary moratorium on rentals of the gymnasium on Division Street until a new policy can be written to cut down on unruly activity spilling out into the Village Green and Willingham at Division housing units.

Director of Resident Services Molly Majestic was allowed to retain whatever rentals are currently on the books, but was told not to take any more reservations.

The authority has gotten a number of complaints about youth parties, particularly involving middle school-aged students. The complaints range from fighting to the use of marijuana at the parties. One resident complained that her windows had been broken out as a result of one of the brawls.

Director of Security Melvin Scott suggested a possible change to prohibit events after 8 p.m. Authority member Michael Taylor even suggested eliminating late night events unless they were sanctioned by a local church or other community organization.

Executive Director Sandra Hudson said the most recent event which led to complaints also involved the people who rented the gym charging admission to the party, which is a violation of housing authority regulations.

The authority also approved an amendment to its retirement package for full time employees. In the past, in order to participate in the retirement plan, an employee had to contribute at least half of one percent of their salary to be eligible. That was matched by an automatic eight percent contribution from the authority,

In the future, employees will have to contribute at least one percent to be eligible, and the agency will match whatever the employee contributes, up to a maximum of eight percent.

Finance Director Tammy Morrow said that only four employees are currently contributing anything above the half of one percent and she estimated the annual savings to the authority of close to $70,000.

The authority is looking for ways to cut its budget since the Department of Housing and Urban Development cut the subsidy to the agencies operating budget by $300,000. this year.