New CCH board tasked with bringing order out of chaos
Published: Thursday, August 8th, 2013
Custer County Housing (CCH), which has dominated the news in the county for the past few weeks, recently had three new members appointed to the board and a new director named. County commissioner Mark Hartman serves as liasion to the CCH board.
Long-time county resident Leonard Wood, a former Custer County Commissioner, is the new CCH chairman. Wood lives outside of Pringle with his wife, Oonagh, was raised in Pringle, went to grade school in Pringle and attended the University of South Dakota before moving overseas in 1962.
He and Oonagh have four grown children and Oonagh is a member of the Custer County Planning Commission. Wood worked in the oil field in various countries for 40 years before investing in land in South Dakota and ranching in the Argyle and Ardmore areas of Custer and Fall River counties. He said he is now “semi-retired.”
Wood said he was approached by a county commissioner about joining the housing board to get it back in shape.
Wood said he has been involved in all aspects of the CCH board, especially the Carriage Hills problems in Hermosa.
“I consider myself a problem-solver, which is what I did while working overseas where I would take businesses, build them up and make them profitable,” he said. “Custer County needs and deserves a thriving subsidized housing program.”
Wood said when the new CCH board started its work, CCH had been badly managed, property was run down, rents were not being paid and the facilities would not have passed government inspections.
“The Hermosa Carriage Hills project had imploded under its tremendous debt load and was not a viable project for CCH,” he said.
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