Examples of what the future Rome Township Senior Housing complex could look like.

Archived Story

County lends support to housing project

Published 9:36am Friday, January 25, 2013

Support for a possible senior citizen living complex on the county’s eastern end was made formal by the Lawrence County Commission Thursday at its regular meeting.

The commissioners, after hearing from Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization and David Burg of PIRHL Developers, approved $100,000 in Community Block Development Grant funds to help with a sanitary sewer line expansion.

According to Kline, funding the sewer line is one of the biggest challenges in developing the site, which if built, would be adjacent to the new St. Mary’s Medical Center modular clinics across from Fairland East Elementary School in Proctorville. To provide that service, the current line from the Union-Rome Sewer System to the proposed site must be extended for about 7,500 feet.

“We worked out a plan to where the county put $100,000 in this as far as block grant dollars and we’d be seeking some ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission) and some other dollars to help offset the costs of that. It’s like a half million dollar sanitary sewer line. We need an application showing that we would be able to have a sanitary sewer to propose with this project should we get tax credits for it to be built.”

Commissioners Bill Pratt and Les Boggs both approved the letter of support. Commissioner Freddie Hayes abstained from the vote because he owns the property where the senior complex would be built.

The application for tax credits for the project must be submitted to the Ohio Housing Finance Agency by Feb. 15. Kline said he expected a decision by mid-June.

If all goes according to plan, ground could be broken by the spring of 2014 with the facility open for rental in 2015.

Burg said at the meeting that PIRHL Developers work closely with municipalities and have been working with the CAO to fill a need in Lawrence County.

“Eastern Lawrence County had a dearth of age-restricted senior housing,” he said.

To date, PIRHL Developers, based in Cleveland, has developed 27 housing properties in eight states.

The site in Proctorville would be 40 to 50 units, affordable housing complex for seniors age 55 and older. The projected cost is $8 to $8.5 million.

Kline said tax credits would make the apartment units affordable for seniors with little to no income. The projected cost for a single-occupancy unit would be $450 to $625 per month with some utilities included.

In addition to housing, the complex would provide a site for congregate meals and possibly a health and wellness center.

Burg also said the parking lots may be redesigned for bus route access.

“It’s a great project,” Pratt said. “We appreciate you coming from Cleveland to speak to us.”

After the meeting, Hayes said he fully supported the senior complex project.

Thursday afternoon, Burg and Kline hosted a public input meeting during the open house for the new St. Mary’s Medical Center campus in Proctorville to show off proposed plans for the apartments and senior services facility.

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  • mikehaney

    I thought the county was broke.
    You know,crowded jail, deputies being laid off.

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  • Scratching My Head

    Lawrence County has had a long history of corruption. Does anybody remember the Lawrence county hospital in Ironton and all the coruption there? When McGinnis Barge got a grant to create jobs at the Carlyle tile plant in Coal Grove? Taxpayers paid for the cleanup to create those jobs that never came to the location and he gained the rewards of valuable property after the cleanup. Should he have paid back those grants or at least turn the property over to the County? And the purchase of the property for the Collins Career Center in Getaway was all political where the good ole boys were helping each other out. Does anybody in Lawrence County think that property was purchased for its idea location? This is just a few of great things that go on with our tax dollars.

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  • SRG

    Sorry, I’m not on board with the accusations just yet. If there’s something underhanded going on, there isn’t much effort to cover it up, and it wouldn’t be that hard to do. To me, as long as the purchase price is fair (it’ll be public knowledge) who cares. It really is a good site for a big project, and who cares the developer is from Cleveland, or that they may secretly desire to make a profit. I figure if someone is going to do an $8m project, they probably didn’t get there by breaking even.

    Also, any business that brings jobs to a community usually gets a little something from the local government, if they can get grants to do it, all the better.

    I’m hearing construction jobs and badly needed senior housing. Kind of hard for me to get mad about that, and if Mr. Hayes is getting more than fair price for the property I’ll feel different.

    You can have all the questions you want, I hope it comes off and with transparency.

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  • Scratching My Head

    When are the people of Lawrence County going to realize how they keep electing CROOKS into office? Anyone involved in this should never be elected in any political office ever again!!!

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  • Shooter1

    The Law. Co. Commission giving 100,000 to a project where a sitting commissioner owns the property. Whats wrong with this picture? It stinks to high heavens at least.

    The Three Stooges are looking pretty dirty.

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  • Poor Richard

    Unfortunately, I don’t think this project is about Seniors.

    I still don’t see in this article where the $8 million is coming from nor do I see what Freddie Hayes, A COUNTY COMMISSIONER, is getting out of this deal or what rangling was done by the CAO and what are they expecting from this deal? Do I think Hayes is doing this for the good of the county? hell no. The only way I would believe that is if he donated the land for nothing in return.

    So, we have developers from Cleveland worried about seniors in Lawrence county? How funny. I would rather hear details of their developments in the other states, how much profit they are raking in, what their real agenda is, and what problems exist at these other facilities, etc – I’m guessing, ooooopppps, wait for it……its about MONEY! Developers don’t build things for the public good, they build them because they are profitable.

    Can’t someone, say, maybe a reporter, get a hold of the financial records of these other develoments in EIGHT STATES? Maybe do some real digging just to ensure to the community this is even legitimate? SOMETHING THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SHOULD HAVE DONE BEFORE SIGNING ONTO ANYTHING!!!!!!!!

    I mean, really folks, how often do we read about grandiose plans of some developer that turns out to be a disaster?

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    • Digi

      I totally agree with you on every word stated. It’s one big joke a sitting commissioner should never profit from funding from anything going on! And if he says he isn’t that BS cause you know he isn’t donating that land!

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  • bleedingheart

    And if this senior citizen facility is never built, (but say a private business or subdivision is created) is the grant repaid by the entrepeneur? Or is this another case of public money being used to make private people wealthy?

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  • mickakers

    My compliments to the Lawrence County Commissioners for their support of the senior citizen living complex. This will be beneficial to all the citizens of Lawrence county. Due to the advancement of medical technology we have an increase in our senior population and therefore have the responsibility to lend our support.

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  • Shooter1

    More of the same. I agree 1 Concerned Citizen WHAT A COUNTY WE LIVE IN.

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  • 1 Concerned Citizen

    It is really nice when our politicians help each other out. Thanks Les and Bill for helping Freddie out. I know though he owes you guys big time. Who’s back will itch next? WOW WHAT A COUNTY WE LIVE IN…

    (Report comment)

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