The Marion City Council, with three members present for a special meeting at noon Thursday, approved a resolution in support of a housing tax credit application for Homestead Affordable Housing.
A special meeting was necessary because the deadline for Homestead Affordable Housing’s tax credit application through the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation was Friday.
The non-profit group is planning to rehabilitate 14 duplex units and build 20 new units in the September I, located north of Eastmoor Church, and September II lots in the city. The focus of the apartments will be senior living. The project is slated to include a community center with a library.
“They are going to be coming in and spending huge amounts of money,” City Administrator Doug Kjellin said.
The resolution does not bind the council to give Homestead a tax abatement, but it is a show of good faith, as Kjellin said, that the city will support the project. Homstead had a deadline of Friday to present the plan to receive funding for the project.
“For the project to work smoothly we should do this,” Kjellin said. “The very first version had more bind to it and I was sweating bullets.”
Kjellin said the city will negotiate a property tax abatement as the project gets closer to construction. Thus far, Homestead has asked for 100 percent and 95 percent abatement.
“We’ll make that up in taxes (later),” council member Chris Meierhoff said.
Kjellin said 100 percent was unsellable. The properties currently generate $8,050 in combined taxes, going to the city, St. Luke Hospital, USD 408, and Marion County. Kjellin, at least, wants that tax to continue so local entities do not lose tax funding.
The project would add 25 new utility users in Marion.
“We’ll end up being a larger town by 20 units,” City Attorney Keith Collett said. “That’s never a bad thing.”
Another positive aspect for the city is that the development would create construction opportunities for Marion High School. The high school already has a building permit for a house the construction class is building on Eisenhower Street. The high school is slated to build a house every year until 2016.
Meierhoff, Steve Smith, and Bill Holdeman were the council members present.