City approves financing for new assisted living, memory facility

By Dennis Minich
The Harrisonville Board of Aldermen gave approval to a financial incentive to help bring a new 73-unit assisted living and memory care facility to the city. The project is projected to cost $10.6 million.

The development, Cedarhurst, will be built on the site of the former John Deere dealership at 2606 Rockhaven Road.

The facility is being built by Dover Developments of St. Louis. The company
owns 40 such facilities nationwide, the closest being in Independence. The
70,000-square-foot project must still be approved by the planning and zoning commission and come back to the board for final approval. The March 16 vote simply was the city agreeing to the use of a Chapter 100 financing program.

Under the plan, 50 percent of the facility’s property tax will be abated for 20 years. Additionally, the sales tax on any construction-related purchases will be waived by the city.

Mayor Judy Bowman said it is anticipated the facility will generate about $265,000 per year in water, sewer and electrical fees for the city. She added the facility will enhance the city’s appearance.

“It’s clearing up a blighted area at the front door of the city,” she said.
A representative of the company said they hope to break ground in May with anopening set for the summer of next year. The board approved the plan 8-0.

Although two residents of the Walker Subdivision came with questions and
comments about the city’s response to flooding in their neighborhood, acting city attorney Steve Mauer said the city could not comment about the situation since the city was involved in litigation.

Mauer told the board he had been informed by a litigation attorney handling the case for the city’s insurance company, that city officials should not make comments on the issue.

The board approved two measures meant to speed up meetings and make
better use of staff’s time. The first, which passed 8-0, changes how public participation works at meetings. Instead of the current policy, where people can just come up and address the board, the public will now contact the city at least five days prior to the meeting and be placed on the agenda. The reason for the change is to allow city staff to be aware of issues to be discussed and possibly have answers to any concerns which might be raised.

In a vote of 7-1, with Alderman David Dickerson dissenting, the board voted to stop the practice of voting on major purchases for items which had already been approved in the budget process. The exception would be if a purchase comes in higher than what was budgeted.
Dickerson said, “I think the program we have now is working. I might have changed my mind and I like to be reminded about what we are buying.”

Alderman Matt Turner responded, “We’ve already set the budget and the amount so voting on it again is redundant.”

In other action, the board voted 8-0 to give 90 days notice to the city’s current health insurance provider that the city will be withdrawing from the plan. The board previously approved working with an insurance broker to come up with a new plan.

The board also voted 8-0 to sell two lots of land the city owns on Mechanic Street.


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