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Trustees OK Lincoln Gardens renovations
A possible renovation project in Prairie Township has received the trustees’ blessings.
At a regular meeting Feb. 25, the board of trustees passed a resolution of support for the potential renovation of Lincoln Gardens, made possible through tax credits.
According to Matt McClure, project leader for National Church Residences, which owns Lincoln Gardens, the project’s existence depends on tax credits awarded through the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The application for financing is due March 19, with announcements of tax credit approvals made the first week of July.
Lincoln Gardens, according to McClure, was built in the 1950s, and houses senior citizens. The proposed project would include interior renovation of the property’s 108 units. The units will also receive energy efficient renovations.
Just as other NCR properties, Lincoln Gardens is financed by private investments through tax credits, allowing residents to pay lower rent. Through the OHFA, developers can sell the tax credits to private investors to raise funding for building acquisition, new construction or substantial rehabilitation costs. In turn, OHFA places a 30-year rent and income restrictions on funded properties. Residents must meet certain financial eligibilities in order to rent a unit at such properties.
According to McClure, NCR is hoping the proposed Lincoln Gardens project will earn about $5 million in tax credits, with $3.5 million of those credits going directly for construction. The other $1.5 million would apply to other construction costs, such as architectural and contract work.
Trustees unanimously voted to support the proposed project.
“It is a great opportunity,” said Trustee Nicole Schlosser.
The township is the first government body to support the possible project, McClure said, and hopefully won’t be the last.
Before the application is due to the OHFA, NCR hopes to ask other government agencies for support. This step, McClure said, is important because the process to obtain tax credits is very competitive.
“These types of things go a long way,” McClure said. “They (OHFA) want to know that the local community is in support of projects like these.
South Grener Phase II project
In other business, trustees approved entering into an agreement with the Ohio Public Works Commission for the South Grener Phase II project. The project will include regrading and repaving a section on South Grener Avenue between Stiles and the northern entrance to Home Depot. Work will also take place on the curbs, gutters and sidewalk.
According to township administrator Tracy Hatmaker, the project is made possible through a $2.2 million OPWC grant and a $787,000 interest-free, 20-year loan.
Trustees voted to modify the bidding schedule of the overall project, which includes three phases. Advertising for bids will take place March 2 and 9, with the bid opening date of March 23. Stantec Design Firm will award the bids during a regularly scheduled trustee meeting March 25.
Trustees also approved an increase in pay for Robin Comeans, effective March 13. Comeans is the senior center director and has worked for the township for 36 months, according to Hatmaker.
Trustees approved to move Comeans’ pay to Step 5, raising his hourly rate to $15.81 an hour.
“Robin has served very well in that post,” Hatmaker said. “He has gone beyond the call of duty. It is well deserved.”
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