December 2010/January 2011
The first hurdle in the creation of Independent Living’s phase one, 42 unit senior housing facility, proposed for development off Wheeler Road on land beside the Cherokee Golf Course driving range, got a huge leap at the November Common Council meeting when the council approved the recommendation of the Community Development Block Grant committee to give Independent Living $432,000 to help fund the project.
As Alderwoman Judy Compton pointed out, Northsiders are fiercely loyal to their chosen side of town and allowing our seniors an opportunity to age in place in a setting that is peaceful, familiar, and convenient is the right thing to do. Alderman Michael Schumacher, who has championed this project all along, went on to stress the importance of the facility for both seniors and the economy, as at least 40 new jobs would be created. Not all parties, however, were supportive. CRANES, Inc. and The Friends of Cherokee Marsh both registered in opposition to the allocation of funds for the project.
In the end, the Common Council agreed the use of CDBG funds to build senior housing on the Northside was an appropriate action and the decision passed with only one dissenting vote. The Independent Living proposal must now go before the Plan Commission.