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What you need to know for 01/20/2018

Senior housing project planned in Schoharie

Senior housing project planned in Schoharie

The village of Schoharie could see dozens of new residents if a senior citizen complex proposed for

The village of Schoharie could see dozens of new residents if a senior citizen complex proposed for Main Street is built.

The village last month approved a planned development area that earmarks about six acres of land for the 72-unit housing project.

Kingston-based Birchez Associates is seeking a grant from the state’s Homes and Community Renewal and Housing Trust Fund offices to develop two cottage-style buildings with eight units and a main two-story building with 56 units.

The proposal targets two parcels of land 100 feet from Sunset Drive, just south of the former Great American grocery store.

According to draft plans submitted to the Schoharie County Planning Commission, the project, called The Birches, would provide housing for people aged 62 and older. A total of 15 percent of the housing space would be reserved for the frail elderly and those who might otherwise go to a nursing home.

A Birchez Associates representative could not be reached for comment.

The village approved a payment in lieu of taxes agreement that would provide for the payment of existing property taxes during construction.

During the year following construction, the village would get $325 per unit per year, $23,400 total, regardless of occupancy.

The PILOT agreement would extend out to 30 years, with the minimum payment of $23,400 increasing by roughly 2 percent each year, or about the annual increase in rental income, according to village documents.

Mayor John Borst said the flood-hobbled village could use more residents and he believes a project like this might spark interest in the village.

“Probably one of the biggest benefits would simply be that it’s new investment in the community and it shows people on the outside that we’re not just restoring and repairing what was damaged,” he said.

“There are people who are willing to invest capital, new capital, in the village. It helps to kind of set an example for others,” Borst said.

According to plans submitted to the county Planning Commission, engineers have already determined that the facility could be built on raised ground so that it would sit 10 inches higher than the floodwaters reached when Tropical Storm Irene inundated nearly half of the village’s housing stock.

Village Planning Board Chairman John Poorman said a site plan review is the next step in the proposal.

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