Senior housing plan is going to City Council

The city Planning Commission Monday took up land development proposals dealing with the need to find affordable housing for senior citizens and two projects involving recycling.

As for the senior citizen housing needs, Grove Street Commons, a 32-unit, two-story apartment and housing complex, to be built on the site of the former state National Guard armory, received a positive recommendation for a land development plan submitted by the SEDA-Council of Governments in Lewisburg.

The commission didn’t have questions for representatives from SEDA-COG, but Kim Wheeler, county community development planner, explained the county’s role in the development.

The county is seeking funds for the project from the Pennsylvania Housing Affordability and Rehabilitaiton Enhancement Funds.

The application went in on June 6, and the county applied for $550,000 for the project. The county also is contributing its $270,000 of its natural gas impact fee money in the project.

“Our role is to help coordinate this,” Wheeler said. “We are trying to help seek funds to get the project going. It’s part of the city housing strategy package the county and city are working on to address housing needs.”

She noted there is a “big wait list for the senior housing in the county, and city, in particular.”

City Councilwoman Bonnie Katz, who sits on the city Housing Needs Committee, said she and others on council recently visited Montoursville, where a similar senior housing apartment complex has been built.

“The people are happy there,” Katz said. “The seniors who live there said they wanted to downsize and the designs are beautiful.”

For Katz, affordable housing – not fair market value housing – is key.

The commission also gave a positive recommendation to relocate the recycling center from 1500 W. Third St. to a site west of it closer to Newberry on that side of Lycoming Creek.

The design indicates lights, and screened areas to prevent paper and plastic from getting into Lycoming Creek.

A third project receiving land development recommended approval was Eureka Resources at 0 Catawissa Ave. The company wants to build a 200- by 174-foot metal building and two storage tanks on a lot at Catawissa Avenue.

The facility is to treat water used in natural gas drilling and reused it for fracking purposes.

It’s received recommended county planning approval. Nobody from the public was at the meeting to voice opinions one way or the other.

Council is expected to take up the land development proposals June 27.