What’s up with the old hospital site?

With the old hospital on 10th Street in Lovell razed last fall, work is progressing on the senior housing development, and as the process continues, a number of questions have been asked and concerns raised in the community about the project and what will happen next.

Lovell Inc. Director Sue Taylor, who is coordinating the program in concert with the Town of Lovell, addressed some of the questions and concerns that were raised during recent council meetings.

Q: Who owns the old hospital property?

The property is currently owned by the Town of Lovell, and they are in the process of soliciting proposals from interested developers to purchase the land, install infrastructure and build senior housing units. Sealed bids for the property are being accepted at Town Hall until 2 p.m. on Friday, May 17, and any interested developer must meet a list of minimum requirements for the property as stated in the solicitation for bids.

Q: Will the developer be responsible for the entire cost of the infrastructure?

Yes, but the Town will pursue public funds that could help to offset the cost by up to 50 percent in order to make the overall project more affordable for the developer, and ultimately the purchaser of a home. Simply making an application for grant funding is never a guarantee of funding, but an option that will be pursued.

Q: Why have other developments been able to access grant funding for infrastructure?

Previous developers of residential subdivisions have been able to work with the Town and the developers have provided a 25 percent cash match for funding of infrastructure installation. This source of funding is no longer available and from all indications may not be available in the future.

Q: How many units will be built?

The number of units built will be determined by the developer and presented to the Town Council for initial consideration as part of the proposals due on May 17. The selected developer will then need to make an application for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) to the Planning and Zoning Board prior to the actual sale of the property. The developer’s plan may need to be modified based on what Planning and Zoning deems appropriate for the parcel. Planning and Zoning will hold a public hearing prior to making a recommendation to the Town Council to accept or reject the PUD.

Q: How much will the units cost?

The target selling price range for 51 percent of the units is $125,000 to$150,000 in order to meet the requirements for low to moderate income housing as a condition of the grant to demolish the building. The balance of the units may carry a higher asking price, based on square footage and/or amenities.

Q: So are these homes considered low income?

Not in the way most people think, but in housing terms the project must meet low to moderate income guidelines as established by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In Big Horn County this equates to a maximum household income of $45,900 for a two-person household. This figure is based upon income and not investments or total net worth.

Q: What age is considered to be a senior?

For this project, the age requirement is that one person in the household must be 62 or older at the time of the initial purchase.

Q: Will this remain senior housing indefinitely?

If that is what the Homeowner’s Association (HOA) decides. The initial covenants that will be filed as part of the PUD will establish age requirements, but the HOA can determine the future of the project and make changes they deem necessary.

Q: What are the consequences of not meeting the demolition grant requirements?

The Town was able to secure the grant to demolish the building based, in large part, on the end use of providing senior housing, with 51 percent of the units being made available for low to moderate income households. If the end use of the land is not met as stated in the grant, the Town may be required to repay the grant in the amount of $490,974.

Any further questions may be addressed by contacting Taylor by calling 548-6707 or emailing her at lovellinc@tctwest.net.