McCOOK, Nebraska -- The $252,000 grant that city staff applied for in January on behalf of the McCook Housing Agency has been denied, but McCook Housing Agency Executive Director Rebecca Dutcher said the loss of the anticipated funds will not slow the project down. The agency is targeting April for beginning a renovation and construction project at the former East Ward School building lot which will build or remodel 27 units, targeted primarily for seniors, aged 55 years and older.
Fifteen will be created by renovating the school building, and 12 will be built new.
"The denial of funding through NSP3 funds is not a determining factor on whether or not the East Ward Village project moves ahead. The NSP3 funds would have enhanced the existing plans for the geothermal heating/cooling system, but it really does not factor in the progress of our project," said Dutcher.
The $4,132,030 project is funded mostly by private investors and the existing building will be renovated into apartments. According to Dutcher it is the housing agency's intention to maximize the existing structure to the greatest extent possible.
"This is a very slow process because federal funding is not abundant and we are trying to ensure a satisfactory return to our investors," said Dutcher.
Dutcher explained that the housing agency has determined a need for affordable rental units in McCook and said, "Some people are not good fits for homeownership and some older folks just don't want the work and expense it takes to own your own home. The housing authority continues to talk with families and other interested persons so that when the units are available we will be able to lease them quickly to meet mortgage and operating expenses of the project."