Assisted living facility in Rush City considered

Rush City is looking at the possibility of an assisted living facility coming to town.

What’s been proposed as a 30-unit assisted living and memory care center generated some buzz among city councilors during an update on the matter at their meeting Monday, March 25. Some members, including Mayor Dan Dahlberg, have expressed the need for such a facility before.

Earlier this month, City Administrator Amy Mell and councilors Bob Oscarson and Michael Louzek, along with Chisago County Housing Redevelopment Authority/Economic Development Authority Director Nancy Hoffman, met with a Twin Cities-based developer who discussed possible funding options for the project. The council then agreed to continue to move forward with discussions.

While the land across from the Rush City Community Center has been mentioned as a potential site, questions on financing, funding sources, occupancy and other issues need to be ironed out before a facility project can receive the green light.

Discussed thus far have been bonding options, the possibility of HUD financing and whether or not the county would participate, Mell told the council Monday night.

“Hopefully we’ll know more this week,” she added.

Next, the plan is to meet with HUD and with the property management company that may be involved to see if funding would be available. The plan also includes a housing study, Mell continued, to make sure the right type of facility is built and occupancy is kept full.

“It sounds possible,” said Councilor Louzek, noting he’s comforted in knowing the city’s financial consultant, Ehlers, has worked with the developer on past projects. “It would be a real plus for our community to have an assisted living facility.”


In other news, the council:

• Remained firm that the city should not be held responsible for remedying the sidewalk flaw that resulted during construction of the new St. Croix River Education District building on Dana Avenue. In a recent email to SCRED, Mell said she believed the $3,000 to $5,000 cost to fix the sidewalk issue (a sudden downward slope, feared to cause injury near the office building’s main entrance) should not have to be paid by SCRED, either. Rather, the engineer, architect or whoever planned the elevation of the new building should be responsible, she added. The council plans to wait to hear a response from SCRED before it addresses any next steps.

• Approved, by ordinance amendment, a 90-day extension of the term involving the cable communications franchise in the city. As a result, the term of the franchise, held by Midcontinent Communications, will expire June 24, at which time a new cable communications franchise is expected to be ready for adoption.

• Discussed fire contract cost calculations as they relate to local townships for 2013.

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