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New housing option explored

Low-maintenance homes for seniors being considered

Managing editor

Independent-living homes were part of the original plan developer Bob Brooks had in mind when he considered the construction of an assisted living facility in Marion. Marion Assisted Living opened in 2004, providing 18 apartments to seniors who no longer want to maintain homes or choose to receive assistance with housekeeping and meals but are not yet in need of skilled nursing care.

And now — if there is interest in the community — low maintenance, independent homes for senior citizens may become a reality.

Marion Assisted Living Director Janet Blue wants to compile a list of people who may be interested in the development.

“We believe there may be government grants and loans available to help fund the project,” she said.

Plans include a total 12 homes with four that could be built by the Marion High School construction class during a four-year period on land near the living center.

“I like the idea of using multiple agencies including the high school building trades group,” Marion Administrator Doug Kjellin said.

A building location has been identified but the land has not yet been purchased. Kjellin said the location is conducive to development maintaining a “residential feel.”

Marion Assisted Living could provide all or some housekeeping services including laundry and some or all meals, Blue said. All maintenance would be provided including snow removal and lawn care.

“There are some older people in large homes who might find these patio homes attractive,” Blue said.

Kjellin agreed.

“Those most interested in the patio homes will be selling their quality homes to families providing additional housing opportunities,” he said.

Plans are in the early stages but there probably would be a homeowners’ association that would set rules regarding the minimum and maximum prices of the homes and the minimum age of residents.

Before any plans can be made, Blue said she wants to know if there is an interest.

“If there is interest, we’ll move forward with plans,” she said.

For more information, call Blue at (620) 382-3000.

Last modified March 24, 2011

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