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Discounted rates to be part of proposed senior complex

A proposed senior apartment complex in Rome Township will offer rent from $100 to almost $450 less than the going market rate for the same type of units.

Pirhl of Warrensville Heights and the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization are teaming up to build a 40-unit complex for independent senior citizens who are 55 years of age and older. The three-story structure will be across from the Fairland East Elementary School and adjacent to the medical offices of St. Mary’s Medical Center.

“You have to make certain units available for somebody at different levels of income,” Ralph Kline of the CAO said. “They have to not only be available but affordable. You can’t pay any more than 35 percent of income.”

Rents for one-bedroom units will range from $219 to $514 a month and two-bedroom apartments will cost between $263 and $617 depending on the income of the seniors. Market rates would be $575 to $710.

At its Thursday meeting, the Lawrence County Commission received a letter from David Burg, vice president of Pirhl, detailing the plans of the project.

“That is quite a decrease in rents for the senior population,” Commission President Bill Pratt said.

Inside the 49,601-square-foot building will be a satellite senior center open to those in the complex and the surrounding community. Funding is expected to come from low-income housing tax credits, Ohio Housing Finance Agency Housing Development Assistant Program and Loan Program funds, Community Development Block Grant funds, a loan from the CAO and possibly a loan from the Federal Home Loan Bank’s Affordable Housing Program.

Construction would start in April 2014 and take a year for completion.

Recently the commissioners approved $100,000 in CBDG funds to help pay for a possible sanitary sewer line expansion. To provide service the line should be extended 7,500 feet. Pratt and Commissioner Les Boggs supported the sewer expansion. Commissioner Freddie Hayes abstained as he owns the property where the project would be located.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, County Treasurer Stephen Burcham said currently the county has approximately $20 million in cash with first half tax collections completed. After the county auditor reconciles the accounts, disbursements will be made to the school districts, villages and townships.

Another tax lien sale is scheduled for the end of August where a group of liens is expected to be sold in bulk to a company as well as individual liens to successful bidders.

“That should provide quite a shot of revenue,” Burcham told the commission.

Recently Burcham sold the delinquent tax liens on five or six parcels on Rockwood Avenue in Chesapeake to a person interested in developing that section. On the parcels is an abandoned business and a section of eyesores community leaders are working to get cleaned up.

The lienholder now must wait a year to see if the property owner pays the back taxes. If not, then the lienholder can foreclose and then tear down the houses.

Lawrence County Emergency Medical Services director Buddy Fry reported on the runs for March where 30 percent of the transports went to King’s Daughters Medical Center, 23 percent to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va., 10 percent to Our Lady of Bellefonte, 7 percent to Cabell Huntington Hospital, 7 percent to the St. Mary’s in Ironton; and 1 percent to the Huntington Veterans Affairs Hospital. There was one run to Southern Ohio Medical Center and 21 percent of the calls did not result in a transport.

In other action the commissioners:

• Approved a contract between the county department of job and family services and the law firm of McCown and Fisher;

• Approved publishing a notice for a public hearing on April 16 at 9 a.m. on the use of Title XX funds.