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Senior housing misses tax credits

ROME TOWNSHIP — A proposed senior citizen housing complex in the eastern end of the county has been delayed for a second time as the county has missed getting tax credits.

“The tax credit was a key piece of the financing for the housing project,” Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, said. “With the housing project a private section investment providing public service senior housing and job creations, it gave us the ability to apply for Community Development Block Grants and Appalachian Regional Commission grants.”

Now that the housing project has been put on hold, it has freed up those federal dollars that could go for other projects in the county including a neighborhood revitalization between Chesapeake and Proctorville.

A Cleveland-based developer had proposed building a complex with 40 to 50 units on a site across from Fairland East Elementary School. The project, which was touted as affordable senior housing, is expected to cost $8 million and would be done in partnership with the CAO.

“We will have to put that off and now it is pushed back to hopefully 2015,” Kline said. “(The tax credit program) is a very competitive program. There were well over 100 applications.”

The tax credits were to come from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, which awarded credits to 40 projects. The earliest the county can re-apply is in January.

Now the commission must decide where to apply for the federal funds it could have gotten for the housing project.

Among the projects now the county will seek funding for is demolition of eyesores and redeveloping the sidewalks on Rockwood Avenue from Symmes Creek to Indian Guyan Creek.

“The sidewalks would have more pedestrian access,” Kline said. “There would be green areas and some streetscaping.”

Also on the agenda are landscaping around the community building at Washington Township, replacing aging waterlines and fire hydrants in the Village of Proctorville and putting utilities underground on 3 and a half alley in Ironton.

“Every project that was submitted was a good project,” Commission President Les Boggs said. “The only one that didn’t get funded there was not enough information. They didn’t get back with the information in time. In each one of those projects they were all important for different reasons and for different communities. It was well spread out in the county and all important to the people in their community.”