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Morrison approves zoning for $4M assisted living center

Inclusion in enterprise zone pending

Published: Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, June 13, 2013 12:56 p.m. CDT

MORRISON – A proposed $4 million, 32,000-square-foot assisted living center, expected to bring about 20 new jobs, has gotten a big assist from the city: Morrison Illinois Assisted Living LLC won its request to have its Scenic Road site rezoned from agricultural use to special use.

The center, being developed by HR Green Inc. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will house 42 to 46 residents.

After winning unanimous approval from the City Council Monday, the project now must pass muster with entities within the Whiteside and Carroll County Enterprise Zone.

Last month, Morrison Mayor Everett Pannier submitted a request that the zone be expanded to include the center.

The enterprise zone management board approved the extension June 3, a public hearing was held Monday, and ordinances have gone out to all entities that must vote on it: Whiteside and Carroll counties, Morrison, Sterling, Rock Falls, Prophetstown, Lyndon, Fulton, Mount Carroll, Savanna and Thomson.

It will take 4 to 6 weeks for all to vote, then she must ask the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to approve the extension, said Betty Steinert, enterprise zone administrator.

If approved, the center will get a sales tax exemption on building materials and a real estate tax abatement for 5 years from the county, the city and the Morrison school district, Steinert said.

“We’re just really excited to be working on the project,” she said. “Definitely with our aging population, we’ll need more assisted living facilities like this.”

Developers expect 40 to 60 construction jobs to be created, followed by 20 jobs at the center, at least six of which will be full time, she said.

HR Green hopes to start construction in late summer or early fall, said Richard Reysack, its construction manager.

The city has not yet received permit requests, and site plan reviews must be done at some point, said Gary Tresenriter, acting city administrator.

“There are still a few hoops that we have to jump through, but we’re excited,” he said. “This is going to be a great addition to the city.”

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