Elderly housing at the Wagoner Community Center at the Forum Center

Council on Aging officials say nearly 14 acres of land are available for development and that its proximity to services provided at the Wagoner Center would be easily accessible to older Manistee County residents.

The council held a forum on October 17 to gather residents’ thoughts on the potential development.

About 50 people attended the forum, according to a press release from the council’s board of directors.

“The contribution of our elders is so important. After all, they are the ones we serve and they are the ones who may choose to live in this seniors development once it is complete,” said Sarah HowardExecutive Director for the Manistee County Council on Aging in the release. “We respect their opinions.”

Survey questions focused on household size and income, the participant’s interest in moving, and the most attractive features in a new home.

The questions were prepared by the Board of Directors, with assistance from TDA Consultants, Steve Lathum and Peter Hughes.

“The site is well located in the community and is an ideal location for seniors housing where residents would have easy access to the full range of COA services as well as amenities like the park and shoreline and everything the city ​​center has to offer,” Lathum announced in September.

It was announced in July that the Manistee Community Foundation Unlimited Fund would provide a $10,000 grant to the council on aging to contract with ADD.

Judy Crockett, board chair and forum moderator, said the majority of responses focused on “safety, cleanliness and good housekeeping”.

“Participants mentioned security cameras, accessibility, independent living, with options for more care as people age in place,” Crockett said.

Joe Hollander, president of the Hollander Development Corporation, joined the conversation as an audience member on Monday. Hollander, who has worked on projects in the town of Manistee, said as costs continue to rise, units built in the near future will be smaller in size and have fewer amenities than they expected. could expect in order to keep the cost affordable.

“You’ll have yard sales and downsizing,” Hollander said.

Crockett noted that it may be a bit early for older residents to put their current homes on the market.

“We’re a long way from shovels in the floor or sheets on the bed,” Crockett said during the meeting. “This forum is just the first step in gathering information about what our seniors are looking for. We appreciate their input and participation in this forum.

The council on aging expects to hold further forums in other sections of the county at its communal meal sites.

The Wagoner Community Center, located at 260 St. Mary’s Parkway, is operated by the Manistee County Council on Aging.

Jill E. Washington