A vacant building on the Sisters of St. Benedict campus could soon find new life.
Last night, the Ferdinand Town Council heard a proposal for future plans with Benet Hall. Under the proposed project, Benet Hall would be converted into 15 senior housing units. The units would be 2 bedroom, 2 bath apartments for lower to middle income senior citizens. They would also feature amenities such as a community room and an exercise facility along with being energy efficient. Rent for the units would tentatively be somewhere between 320 and 650 dollars a month, though nothing is set in stone there.
Now Carla Naum with project consultant Milestone Ventures Inc out of Indianapolis told the council that the project would need federal funding. The application for that funding is due November 3rd. Naum told the council that the project application would likely be 1 out of roughly 50 that would be sent in this year. Of those, Naum says that only 11 to 16 of the projects will get funding.
Naum says the idea came about after a conversation between the Sisters of St. Benedict and Lt. Governor Sue Ellspermann. Naum says Ellspermann then called David Miller with Hoosier Uplands Economic Development Corporation, who then introduced Milestone to the Sisters.
Naum says the proposed project would fulfill a need for Ferdinand if it were to be approved:
Meanwhile, Ferdinand town council president Ken Sicard says the proposal would be a win-win for everyone:
If approved, renovation work on Benet Hall would start sometime next year with the project being completed in 2016. The total investment would be 4.1 million dollars.
Now the council has set 2 special meetings next month to further discuss the proposal. Those will be on Tuesday October 7th and Monday October 27th at Ferdinand Town Hall. Both meetings would start at 5 o’clock. A tax abatement could also be part of the project and that will be further discussed during the special meetings.
In other business, the council approved changes to the stormwater ordinance in response to drainage issues at Holiday Foods and other local businesses. Sicard says the idea is aimed at large gravel parking lots that have caused issues in the past:
In final notes, the council appointed the three members for the town’s recently relaunched Economic Development Commission. The appointees were Bryan Dale, Keith Rahman, and Dan Collignon.