Apartments For Elderly Volunteers Envisioned For Service Center

March 29, 1992|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff writer

NEW WINDSOR — D. Miller Davis always hoped retirees would live at the New Windsor Service Center while volunteering for the organization's projects.

A $3 million, 30-unit apartment building -- given conditional approval by the Church of the Brethren's General Board -- could make that vision a reality.

"We are looking for a strong community of residents, interested in volunteering here and through local churches," said Davis, directorof operations for the center, which offers ecumenical services to agencies around the world.

Owned and administered by the Church of the Brethren, the center hopes to build on its Springdale Road property, outside town.

Before proceeding with the project, the center must have the town's approval for the building and for annexation of about five acres -- the site of the proposed building. The town would then supply water and sewer.

Davis, who has had several meetings with Town Attorney Marker C. Lovell, will present the plans to the TownCouncil at a hearing at 7 p.m. Monday, April 13.

"As long as the water and sewer are available, there shouldn't be a problem with the annexation," the attorney said.

"The land also would have to be rezoned for higher density housing."

Mayor James C. Carlisle said the council is taking "a wait-and-see attitude."

The Rev. Roy Johnson, a town resident for the past three years, said the project is an idea whose time has come. Several people, he said, have expressed interest in the project.

"I have met many able retirees, who would willingly spend their days involved in service projects and helping others," said Johnson, who works on the stewardship staff of the Church of the Brethren and travels extensively in Maryland and Virginia.

"A retirement community here would make it possible for them to live where their services are most needed," he said.

Davis, Johnson and his wife, Gladys, formed a committee about two years ago to work out details of the proposed community and project.

The church's board has said the center must sell 75 percent of the units before construction can begin. Neither Davis nor Johnson foresee a problem in meeting that goal.

Davis, who is on the board of Timber Ridge RetirementCommunity, said Carroll County is way "under-bedded" in the number of housing units available for senior citizens.

About 27 couples and singles from across the country have responded positively to a preliminary market survey, he said.

"My 84-year-old mother lives in Phoenix, Ariz., and she's interested," Johnson said. "I think we will have a waiting list before we start building."

Added Davis: "We have missionary couples around the world who would like to retire here."

Tentative plans call for one- and two-bedroom units, selling from$70,500 to $117,000. The building also would house recreational facilities, including a pool and exercise room.

"The center would manage the building," Davis said. "This would be retired housing, not condos. Tenants would purchase a life lease."

The center's Heifer Project, which ships farm animals to underdeveloped countries, would have to be relocated before the annexation.

Local ordinances do not allow those types of animals to be housed within town limits.

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