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City approves loan for senior housing

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston City Council members approved a loan Monday night aimed at turning an abandoned West Side school into low-income senior housing.

Zora Rogers, Charleston HOME Program director, asked the council to loan $240,000 to create affordable rental units for tenants 55 and older at the former Glenwood Elementary School.

Charleston real estate developer Chris Sadd purchased the 90-year-old building in July 2011 and formed the Glenwood School Development to refurbish it.

Rogers said the historic building, located at 810 Grant St., would house 31 units for residents earning $30,000 or less a year. This project is unique for the HOME Program, which assists families and first-time homeowners based on income.

"This is not a place that will be based on income," Rogers said. "These units will be market rent."

Rogers said the units would be priced low enough for seniors to afford on a fixed income.

Members of the Finance Committee raised questions about the long-term payback of the loan. Rogers said it would most likely take 30 years to pay back to the city.

"We are still trying to work out the time frame," she said.

She is working on acquiring tax credits for the project and those credits have a certain timeframe to work within, she said. More details would be finalized this week, she said.

Work on the project would begin almost immediately with an expected completion date around December 2013.

Councilman Tom Lane praised the project before the finance committee approved the loan.

"I think we are lucky to put that property to good use and to have saved a historic building," Lane said.

Also during the meeting, council members approved continuing an agreement with PAPCO Inc., a Virginia-based company, to purchase gasoline and diesel fuel for city vehicles.

The city would buy E10 gas at $2.90 per gallon and diesel fuel at $3.39 per gallon beginning today <co Tues> and ending Nov. 20, 2013.

The original agreement was with ISOBunkers before the company was purchased by PAPCO.

Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.

 


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