El Dorado City Commission approved authorizing a letter of support for Cohen-Esrey's application

After discussing concerns on housing, the El Dorado City Commission approved authorizing a letter of support for Cohen-Esrey's application to the Kansas Housing Corporation for housing tax credits.

They are proposing putting apartments in the old middle school. The development would contain between 40 and 50 units and would target elderly and/or workforce tenants. Previously, it had just been for elderly when they made the application last year, but they expanded their potential residents for this year's application.

The space also would include a community area, storage, safe room, washer and dryer in each unit and off-street parking.

In addition to the tax credits, Cohen-Esrey also will request assistance through the Neighborhood Revitalization Program for property tax rebates.

"You passed a similar resolution last year at this time," Scott Rickard, assistant city engineer, told the commission during their meeting last week. "They did not receive those tax credits and are applying again."

Mayor Mike Fagg asked if it would affect other rental properties in El Dorado.

"I am wondering how it affects the mix," he said. "I just want to make sure these other facilities are aware of what we are doing."

Herb Llewellyn, city manager, said they absolutely are aware.

"They (the other senior housing developments) exist because they did the same thing this company wants to do," he said. "They told the state we don't need any more apartments."

But Llewellyn said with a presentation they had heard earlier in the meeting, the city does need better housing.

Cohen-Esrey expanded the application this year so they didn't put an undue burden on existing senior housing.

"I'm in favor of it," Fagg said. "I just don't want to upset the mix. You get a supply and demand thing and I want to make sure we are not oversupplying for senior citizens in El Dorado."

Linda Jolly, El Dorado Inc. director, said the vacancy rate is less than 10 percent at any given time in subsidized units.

Fagg was concerned people did not have time to respond to this proposal, but because of the deadline for the application it had to be voted on last week.

The commission voted 5-0 to support the application for tax credits.

Julie Clements can be reached at jclements@butlercountytimesgazette.com.