Montgomery County

Montgomery County likely to loan $500K to senior center builder

After the Amsterdam Common Council voted against loaning the developer of a proposed senior communit

After the Amsterdam Common Council voted against loaning the developer of a proposed senior community center $500,000 earlier this month, Montgomery County Economic Development Director Ken Rose said Wednesday the county is prepared to loan the money for the extension of water and sewer lines to the Sandy Drive property.

Over the last several months, the council has gone back and forth on loaning the money for the $30 million project, dubbed the Concordia Senior Community.

Fourth Ward Alderwoman Diane Hatzenbuhler said the city “does not know where it stands financially” and doesn’t have the wherewithal to lend the money.

“Our books are still not up to date,” she said, noting she is in favor of the project and the jobs it will bring to the city. “We just aren’t in any sort of position to lend a half-million dollars to anyone.”

Rose said the city “pulled out of the loan at the last minute,” forcing the county to step in to make sure the project “didn’t die.”

“We will use our revolving loan fund to lend them $500,000,” Rose said.

Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort, who has urged the council to throw their support behind the project for the last several months, said the county “will not let the project fail.”

“This is something that needs to be done,” he said. “Not only is it a large private investment in a city that needs something like this, it also fills a critical void for senior care that we don’t have in this area.”

The proposed senior community on Sandy Drive in Amsterdam will consist of 162 units — 98 of which will be located in a three-story, assisted-living building. The remaining 64 units will be housed in four, one-story buildings and will offer support for those with cognitive impairment.

The project’s developer says the project will create 116 permanent jobs and more than 225 construction jobs, and expand the city’s tax base.

Ossenfort said before the county loans the money the Legislature must approve it.

“I am 100 percent sure the Legislature will make sure this goes through,” he said. “I have no doubt it my mind.”

Amsterdam Mayor Ann Thane said it is “a shame” that the council wouldn’t fund a project that is so promising and has the opportunity to benefit the city.

“The council just dragged it on for so long that the county was becoming concerned it might not happen,” she said. “When I found out the council would not bond for it I immediately called the County Executive and told him they would need to pick it up. They are graciously picking it up to make sure it goes forward.”

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