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Alexandria and Theresa seeking funds senior housing feasibility study

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Alexandria’s and Theresa’s town governments are teaming up with area representatives for a possible low-income housing project for senior citizens.

While talks are preliminary, the partners are seeking funding for a feasibility study for a new assisted-living facility in the community with the support of Assemblywoman Addie J. Russell and state Sen. Patricia A. Ritchie.

The villages of Alexandria Bay and Theresa also are on board, and the group recently reached out to the Clayton Improvement Association, which manages several affordable and senior housing complexes and serves 10 towns in northern Jefferson County, including Alexandria and Theresa.

“People, as they grow older, they want to stay in the community but often can’t afford it,” Alexandria town Supervisor Dale D. Hunneyman said.

Their goal is to build a housing complex either in Theresa or on a piece of property on Swan Hollow Road in Alexandria, which owner Richard Champany offered to donate, Mr. Hunneyman said.

Mr. Champany’s 10- to 15-acre property does not have public water and sewer service, and the partners will have to secure additional funding if they want to build the facility there, Mr. Hunneyman said.

Theresa Supervisor Clinton A. Coolidge said there is a Route 22 property on Theresa’s town-village border with the necessary infrastructure that could be a site for the project.

Regardless of where the facility is built, the group’s goal is to identify and help meet growing demands for affordable homes for seniors in the region.

Not so long ago, the St. Lawrence River community lost a valued senior service when River Hospital, Alexandria Bay, closed its 27-bed skilled nursing facility in 2010.

Initially, the group’s goal was to build a campus that included a skilled nursing facility, but the committee later determined it would be extremely hard to secure state or federal funding for such a large and complicated project.

Mr. Coolidge said because funding for affordable housing studies and projects are scarce at the moment, the partners may have to team up with the private sector to make the project a reality.

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