Betty’s Community Housing project moving forward; Humboldt Bay Fire will adjust training operations

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EUREKA – Betty Chinn’s Community Housing Project is moving forward.
The Betty Kwann Chinn Homeless Foundation will house twenty-five to forty people on this city owned property at Hilfiker Lane. PG&E donated eight trailers to the foundation that had to be moved by the end of the month.
Eureka is covering initial expenses to add sewer, water and fencing. Full development is estimated to cost up to $100,000.
City staff are working to secure additional funding from the county and Public Works Director Brian Gerving said discussions have been positive so far.
“At this point the city hasn’t incurred many of those costs because a lot of that development is yet to come,” Gerving said, “and so the city does look forward to partnering with the county to share in those costs and make the project come to fruition.”
The site is adjacent to Humboldt Bay Fire’s Training Center and was chosen over the area to the south. Gerving said the decision will save $50,000.
But that’s against the urging of Fire Chief Bill Gillespie.
At only 150′ away from the live fire burn box, Gillespie was concerned about the impact smoke might have on the residents as well as the loss of the grassy area used for water flow trainings.
Now that the project is taking its next steps, the chief said they will make it work by relocating some of their training operations. “We’ll work to be good neighbors with Betty and the folks that are there,” Chief Gillespie said. “But they’ll need to understand also right next door still is a training facility that we’ve got to be able to meet our mandates. So we’ll coexist.”