The Vincennes Housing Authority is rebranding itself with new signs.

The housing authority’s board of commissioners on Monday voted to hire SureClean, 2805 Fulton Glass Road, to replace seven signs within its four properties and the historic Sunset Court at a cost of $49,000.

Executive director Linda Fredrick said there will be two at Presidential Estates and Old FrenchTowne and one each at the rest of the sites.

The signs were designed by local architect Larry Donovan, Donovan and Donovan, 427 Main St., and feature a 4-foot tall brick base and a stone top. Bricks for each one will match the respective properties, he said, and they will use bricks saved from the demolition of the properties at Sunset Court years ago to create the one there.

Each sign will feature the property’s name as well as the VHA logo, although Donovan said he is still researching companies to supply the actual lettering itself. He said he’s looking to four different companies to get a variety of options. Next month, he said, he hopes to give the housing authority a few options to compare and consider.

That lettering will come at an additional cost, Donovan pointed out.

The board also on Monday opted to add $12,000 to the overall cost to have the new signs outfitted with spotlights.

The expenditures are long overdue, Fredrick said, as the existing signs are long past their life span.

“They are wood and have been sandblasted and repainted so many times,” she said. “So while we have some money, we wanted to put it into something sturdy that will stand for a long time.”

The housing authority still uses and maintains Sunset Court, a former New Deal-era housing complex on the city's south side. VHA officials abandoned and tore down the buildings years ago but kept one large building to use as its maintenance office.

There is also one remaining home on the property, Fredrick said, and the housing authority rents it out.

The board also opted on Monday to move forward with seal coating to the parking lots at all four properties. Multiple bids on a variety of repair options were received, but Donovan recommended the board hire Ader Seal Coating and Line Striping, Loogootee, for a total of $60,000.

The board also looked at milling down the parking lots and putting down a totally new surface, but those costs were upwards of $550,000.

Seal coating them, Donovan said, should give them another five years of life.

The board also voted, at a cost not to exceed $17,400, to repair the more severe, specific parking lot problem areas at three of the properties.

The board will use its annual share of capital fund improvement dollars for both projects.

In other business, Fredrick said the agency would pursue the addition of smoke shacks at Presidential Estates in answer to the complaints of some smoking residents there.

The housing authority, per a new federal mandate, last year eliminated smoking from all of its properties; residents must now be 25 feet away from a structure to smoke.

Currently, she said, there are only two there.

“So we’re going to try to adjust and put up a couple of more out there for them,” she said.

Jackie Scott, director of the VHA’s Section 8 program, reported the agency received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development last month a subsidy of $127,442.

The program paid out little more than $108,000 to local landlords as well as an additional $7,300 to utility companies on behalf of the Section 8 tenants.

There was no need to dip into any HUD-held reserves to cover it all, she said.

After running tight on funds earlier this year, Scott told the board she is focused on keeping monthly payouts at about $120,000.

She said 282 families are now enrolled in the program. The goal is to get back up to 300, so 12 families are out looking for apartments.

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