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Mabton council votes to join affordable housing consortium

MABTON - The Mabton City Council last night voted to give Mabton Mayor Velva Herrera the authorization to sign a revised consortium agreement with Yakima County.

The purpose of the agreement is to form a consortium of local governments in Yakima County to increase each city's ability to provide affordable housing to low and moderate income residents.

The agreement will cover the years 2010-2012.

The HOME Investment Partnerships Act Program will be administered through Yakima County instead of a previous document stating all funds would go through the Yakima Valley Conference of Governments.

As the lead agency, Yakima County will work to administer federal funds for the purpose of expansion and rehabilitation of the supply of decent, safe, sanitary and affordable housing. Yakima County will also work to strengthen partnerships among all levels of government and the private sector.

The council voted 5-0 to allow Herrera to sign the agreement.

In other council business last night council members decided to table a vote on whether to authorize Herrera to request contract work with Kevin Wesley in regards to the renewal of union negotiations with the city.

Union officials have sent the city a letter giving notice of their desire to open negotiations for the modifications of wages and benefits for public works employees and one police officer.

Councilman Angel Reyna asked if there were any other options on the table besides Wesley and was told by interim city clerk Ret Stewart that the city didn't have anyone in mind that was better than him.

Reyna said he was disappointed with Wesley's performance the last time he did contract work for the city.

The matter was tabled when it was made clear that the city couldn't enter into negotiations with the union at this time because the city still doesn't have accurate numbers on its finances. Accurate numbers aren't expected for some time.

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