By Ken de la Bastide
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON – The first step in providing a $200,000 forgivable loan for the opening of a geriatric care facility in The Flagship has been approved by the Anderson Redevelopment Commission.
The Redevelopment Commission on Monday approved the transfer of $200,000 to the Anderson Economic Development Commission to provide the funds to Assurance Health.
Greg Winkler, director of the city's Economic Development Department, said the City Council has to approve the loan. He said the loan will be considered by the council at the May 8 meeting or at a special council meeting.
He said the $200,000 is a forgivable loan over seven years with Assurance Health having to meet certain goals annually.
Kyle Small of Assurance Health said there are plans for 20 beds in 10 patient rooms at an existing building at 2725 Enterprise Drive.
Small said the facility will serve patients within a 45-mile radius of Anderson. He said most patients come from nursing homes and are older than 65 years of age.
“We’ve found a niche in the market,” he said.
Morris Long said the facility will see patients who have either been not treated or treated with overmedication or placed in a general psychiatric unit.
“We will treat people 65 and older in a common location,” he said. “We will provide therapy when needed and medication management.”
Long said the goal is to create a higher quality of life for the patients. He said the average stay will be less than 15 days.
The facility will create 52 jobs and the company is making a $3.2 million investment. The annual payroll has been estimated at $2 million.
Long said the geriatric care facility should be open by late fall or early winter.
The Anderson Board of Zoning Appeals in March approved a special exception for the facility. At the time the developers indicated there would be 10 patient rooms with private bathrooms, therapy areas, office space, a quiet activity room, group therapy and consulting rooms.
Long said the facility will not have a kitchen if they can find a local provider to supply meals.
Small said a kitchen could be constructed if needed.
The facility will be licensed by the Indiana Board of Health and the Indiana Department of Mental Health. It will not be affiliated with any hospital and will take referrals from hospitals, nursing homes and physicians.
Edgewood Plaza Gateway project
Redevelopment Commission members approved an additional $50,000 appropriation for the Edgewood Plaza Redevelopment project.
Winkler said the additional funds will be used for the immediate construction of sidewalks on the south side of Nichol Avenue from Raible Avenue to Brentwood Drive.
He said the intent is to complete the construction of the sidewalks this year and connect the new Family Dollar store and the CVS pharmacy.
The Redevelopment Commission approved $100,000 for the project. Winkler said $30,000 has been spent on the design, leaving a balance of $70,000. The additional funding is needed for the sidewalks.
Winkler said the city intends to complete lighting and landscaping along Nichol Avenue from Raible Avenue to Brentwood Drive and construction of a Gateway sign in 2015.
Mike Spyers, city engineer, said the Redevelopment Commission will have to approve additional funding for the Gateway project in 2015.
The federal government is providing 80 percent of the funding or $295,000.
Winkler said the funds are coming from $500,000 that Nestlé is paying as an abatement fee for the $70 million expansion of its Anderson plant.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.