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County will hold public hearing on Brownsdale school request; Group asks for 15-year tax abatement for assisted living facility

Later this month Mower County Commissioners will consider a tax abatement request made by developers of a proposed $3.5 million assisted living project, to be housed in the former Brownsdale School.

Commissioners will hear comments at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 27.

Diedra Burke and fellow investors want a 15-year tax abatement on the project. County Coordinator Craig Oscarson estimated the county’s share of the tax at $10,053 a year. The city of Brownsdale — which currently owns the school building — has tentatively agreed to waive the city taxes, but the school district has not made a commitment as yet. Last March, Hayfield Community Schools voted to close the school and move all students to Hayfield.

The investment group, called Legacy Health Partners, wants to renovate the building to include 32 studio and one-bedroom apartment units, ranging from about 450 to 600 square feet in space, according to Commissioners Jerry Reinartz and Polly Glynn, who met with Burke recently.

Reinartz said they were told 22 people are on waiting list for units that are expected to be leased on a base rate of $2,195 a month. The facility would employ about 13 full-time and 12 part-time employees.

If the plan progresses, Reinartz said, the facility would be open in 2018.

It was noted there is a reported shortage of assisted living facilities in the county, due to the swiftly growing Baby Boomer generation.