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Rotary Gets Update On Bay City Housing Plans

Plus A Report From "Down Under"

August 4, 2018       Leave a Comment
By: Stephen Kent

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Bill Phillips
When Rotarian Doug Rise retired a little over a year ago, he was replaced at the Bay City Housing Commission (BCHC) by Bill Phillips. Bill brings a wealth of experience to Bay City and he has been using that to help implement the Commission's plans for affordable housing and the recommendations of the recent Bay City Housing Study.

Bill discussed the definition of Affordable Housing noting that there are different types and levels based on the quantity and sources of financing used the develop them. The people needing that housing represent different segments of the population. Their housing needs fit their incomes.

The trend today is a transition from a "public housing business model" to an "asset-based model". According to HUD, public housing across the country needs over $26 billion in repairs. Most public housing agencies just can't afford that cost.

A primary way to meet this cost is to add private-sector investors to the mix. That requires a shift in the culture of public housing agencies, but it can be accomplished. Tools include programs such as "Rental Assistance Demonstration Programs" (RAD) which let the agencies rehab existing housing and transfer funds in a project-based manner.

Bill went on to show maps that outline the areas that need attention. He talked about the criteria for work, collaboration with the city, and other factors. Based on the studies, attention has been directed to the about 60 block area east of City Hall.

There are no quick answers or easy fixes. Where the Housing Study recommended reducing blighted, non-performing housing and housing in "unrecoverable" condition to support demand, the BCHC recognizes that there are several components to the problems.

There are a number of challenges, all of which BCHC is working to answer.

For more information visit

Jim Lewis
Following Bill's presentation, member Frank Janca introduced Jim Lewis, a friend visiting from the New Zealand area where Frank lives for half of each year. Formerly an attorney, Jim has for a number of years been the Commissioner of Ship Brokering in that part of the world.

Jim talked briefly about Pitcairn Island. That distant location is where the sailors from the ship Bounty settled after their mutiny against Captain Bligh. Pitcairn is the smallest inhabited country in the world. The island is about two square miles and is home to some 50 full-time residents. Many of those people are descended from the Bounty mutineers.

The short history of the island was fascinating. That anyone can survive there, where there is no anchorage and all supplies must be ferried ashore via long boats, is somewhat amazing.

Following the mutiny in the year 1789, Capt. Bligh and 18 sailors were put off in the ship's boats where they accomplished the longest survival trek in history. They traveled over 3,500 miles to reach a friendly shore.

The mutineers plus a handful of Titian women that had joined them made it to Pitcairn where they sunk to Bounty hoping they would not be found. That small group colonized the island where their descendants are still found.

Despite its romantic sound, Pitcairn Island is not much of a destination. There is no air service since there is no place to land even a small plane. Those young people born on the island are prone to leave and when that happens they have no desire to return.

Jim's parting advice is that if you wish to visit Pitcairn and think you can do it, you better do it soon. The chances are that the island's days as a "population center" are numbered and counting down fast.


Because of the extended program, the business meeting was kept short as was the Sargent at Arms segment.

Being the last meeting of the month, the club celebrated the birthdays of all members born in July. Traditionally a member's birthday is a reminder for the member to make a contribution to the Rotary Foundation. The suggested amount is 50 cents per year.

In his "Rotary Foundation Minute", Chuck Cusick gave a brief overview on how money given to the foundation is used. Funds are held for 3 years and the interest is used for operations. At the end of that period, the original investment is split evenly between the giving district and the Rotary Foundation causes. That is one of the reasons the Rotary Foundation regularly receives the highest possible rating for charities.

President Harvey commented that the two members taking lunch money and selling 50/50 tickets were worth a mention. Asking how many people remembered the movie "Twins", with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito, he pointed out Ralph Knopp and Andreas Teich, without planning, dressed almost identically!     Twins indeed.

PLEASE NOTE The club must account for all Golf Outing raffle tickets. If you still have tickets, please return them to Tim or to Cindy Chadwick immediately.
The July to December, 2018 dues cycle is under way.

Dues notices were delivered by E-MAIL on June 6.
Past due notices have also been e-mailed.

If you have not paid your dues, or have not received your invoice please inform the Secretary!

You may mail your dues as usual, or deliver them to the Secretary at a meeting.


Dig out your favorite Rotary memory photos and
let Brenda Scramlin use them for the weekly
Club slide show. It'll be fun for everyone!



Upcoming Programs

(See the official schedule at )

August 7, 2018: Chalk Walk Art Festival. Tara Welch will update the club on the Chalk Walk Art Festival which will be hosted on August 18th. Along Water Street and 3rd street, Bay City will enjoy artists, family events, music and an art fair. This event is free for the public to enjoy.

August 14, 2018: The Normandy Institute (Tentative) Dylan Steele researched the life of a local WWII soldier, PFC Donald Owen Freidinger from Linwood who died on D-Day as part of The Normandy Institute program. The program included a week in Washington DC and a week in France culminating in Dylan's eulogy of PFC Freidinger at the cemetery in Normandy. August 14 was PFC Freidinger's birthday.


August 28, 2018: District Governor (DG) Michael Elliott To Speak to Club. DG and Asst. DG Larry Arendt will visit Rotary Meeting.

Rotary is an intimate affiliation of carefully selected business and professional people,
having as its objective the promotion of high ethical standards in private, commercial
and civic life, and dedicated to the ideal that the basis of all worthy endeavor is unselfish service.

Current and past DISTRICT DISPATCH newsletters are available on the District site shown in the LINKS section below.

Get connected with ROTARY on Facebook.
Over 450 people like us. Let's go for 500 people liking our page!

Rotary Bay City on Facebook
Rotary Bay City on Facebook!
Click on the Blue Facebook to visit us there.

Remember! Check attendance sheets at the front desk.

District 6310 Web Site District Dispatch Archive
Rotary International Make-up On-Line at
The Rotary Global History Fellowship
Rotary Global History.

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Stephen Kent

Steve Kent and his family have lived in Bay City for 40 years. He is VP of Technical Services at MMCC which produces MyBayCity.Com. Kent is active in many Bay City civic organizations.

More from Stephen Kent

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