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Manly works to fill housing development that broke ground 8 years ago

Entrance to Sterling Acres from Highway 65
Entrance to Sterling Acres from Highway 65

MANLY – A councilman in Manly is working to spur occupancy in a development in town that hasn’t quite taken off yet.

The Sterling Acres development sits on the north end of Manly, mostly unoccupied. Ground was broken in 2006 with a total of 42 building lots.  Eight years later, just two homes are in the development. The others sit empty, along with a bank of mailboxes. Charlson Excavating owns the lots, which city councilman Scott Heagel told cost between $22,000 and $28,000, approximately.

Mr. Heagel is working with city staff, builders, the owner of the lots and grant writers to help spur home-building in Sterling Acres. He wants to put together incentives that might entice people to move in to Manly and perhaps build a house. So far, he says he has helped secure enough money for two grants of up to $10,000 each for a home builder who would build in Sterling Acres. The money, he says, would be available before closing, to help the property owner through the loan approval process at the bank.

There was supposed to be an aquatic center built closer to Sterling Acres, but it was moved south as manufacturing ramped up nearby and concerns about fallout into the pool were raised.

“I think that hurt a little,” Mr. Heagel said, of the attractiveness of the lots.

“But, we still have an excellent athletic field right there, so that helps.  The lots have been ready to go for years.  And we have so much to offer here in Worth county.  The casino allows us to offer scholarships to students and complete projects like the athletic complex.”

Mr. Heagel has hopes that a new manufacturing development announced this year for the Manly Terminal area, New Haven Chemicals, will bring enough jobs with decent wages to allow folks an opportunity to build in Sterling Acres.

“We have a chance to see some growth once these jobs get here,” he said.

In the meantime, Heagel is doing his research and keeping discussion open at council meetings.

Sterling Acres mailboxes - mostly not used
Sterling Acres mailboxes – mostly not used
Sterling Acres - another vacant lot
Sterling Acres – another vacant lot
Sterling Acres - the two homes that did get built
Sterling Acres – the two homes that did get built

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