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Walworth County will set hearing for 144-unit senior center

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Kevin Hoffman
August 19, 2011
— Walworth County residents next month could get the opportunity to weigh in on a proposed 144-unit senior housing center planned at Geneva Ridge.

The county finance committee Thursday unanimously approved the developer’s application seeking a loan through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The county board will review the application during its Sept. 8 meeting, and a public hearing on the proposal is expected the same night.


The developer’s attorney, Bruce Block, said the project would cost about $24 million. No other details were disclosed during the meeting, including the identities of the developers.


Dan Kilkenny, county supervisor and member of the finance committee, said he didn’t see any problems moving the application forward, but he asked that the public and communities involved be notified of what is happening at the county level.


Walworth County has no direct involvement with financing the project, though it does need to approve the loan application before it’s forwarded to the state. Williams Bay and the town of Geneva must approve the zoning.


“All this takes some time,” Block said.


He estimated approval could take three to four months.


“It’s very critical as we move this process forward to try and run the trains simultaneously.”


The county would incur administrative costs, but it will receive $100,000 of the loan for reimbursement, Block said.


The developer is applying for section 108 financing through the federal government. The section 108 program is reserved for “economic development, housing rehabilitation, public facilities rehab, construction or installation for the benefit of low- to moderate-income persons, or to aid in the prevention of slums,” according to the Housing and Urban Development website.


The program allows the state to transform a portion of its community development block grants into federally guaranteed loans. Current and future block grant allocations are used as security for the loan.


The developer could have up to 20 years to repay the loan.


Zoning applications will be submitted to Williams Bay and the town of Geneva this month, according to a letter Block submitted to the county board. The respective communities have not yet set a hearing for the requests.



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