The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

February 25, 2014

Officials eye study for senior housing

By Amy Kent Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CAMANCHE — The lack of senior housing in Camanche may soon be addressed.

During a Camanche City Council meeting last week, City Administrator Tom Roth updated leaders on a potential development investment that would tackle some of the problems the city has faced with senior housing.

“We’ve been trying, I would say for maybe four years, knocking on the doors and trying to recruit somebody to build senior housing in the city of Camanche,” Roth said.

In order to move forward with a senior housing project the city will be required to spend $12,000 for a feasibility study to see if the city of Camanche has what it takes to sustain a senior housing facility; an amount of money many council members did not feel comfortable with.

One of the concerns brought to the table during last week’s meeting was if the city cannot sustain a senior housing development then the $12,000 is non-refundable.

“If they come here we get that money back refunded back to us, so to speak but if they decide not to after that marketing study we’re out that money,” Mayor Ken Fahlbeck said. “But, we still have that study on file for the future if anything was to happen again.”

Another concern with spending the $12,000 was a cut the council made earlier that night of $10,000 to the Clinton Regional Development Corp.

Councilman Trevor Willis felt that if the city was to spend $12,000 on a feasibility study with the chance the city would not get that money back, they should also spend the $10,000 for a chance the CRDC would bring industrial developments to the city as well.

“So what you’re saying is you’d rather risk $12,000 than risk $10,000 to bring business to this town?” asked Willis. “I am on very much for senior housing in this town, but if you’re going to cut $10,000 for trying to get business to come to town and then turn around and spend $12,000 on the off -chance that they might come to town, it doesn’t make a whole lot of fiscal sense to me.”

Despite their reluctance to spend the $12,000, the council did feel they needed more information from the developer on the project and marketing study and asked Roth to set up a meeting with him for the March 4 City Council meeting.