About 22 Buffalo residents gathered at Buffalo Elementary School Sept. 4 to learn more about plans to turn the school into low-income elderly housing. Holly Wiedemann, Chief Executive Officer of AU Associates, the development company that is considering the Buffalo School project, answered questions from the audience.
Wiedemann said AU has five complexes in Kentucky, $30 million completed and another $10.6 million under construction.
"Midway School is the oldest. It's 10 years old," said Wiedemann.
A resident asked what definition of elderly they used. "55 or older," answered Wiedemann. She went on to explain that the income limits are $22,140 for a one person and $25,320 for a two-person family. In order to qualify to live in the Buffalo School apartments, a resident would have to be 55 or older and have income less than the income limits. The income limits may go up before the project is completed, AU Associates Financial Manager, Johann Graham explained later.
Wiedemann went on to describe a situation in which someone who was paranoid-schizophrenic moved into one of their apartments and then went off their medication.
"It was very disruptive," Wiedemann said. The tenant was evicted within 45 days, according to Wiedemann.
After the public forum, 12 community members joined Wiedemann and members of the school board on a school bus bound for Glasgow, where they toured the Liberty School, another AU Associates project.
"It's nice, isn't it?" said Phyllis Duncan of Buffalo after the tour. "It really is. I think what is so good, if anybody would get hurt, you'd know you've got somebody close by."
Other Buffalo residents echoed the sentiment. "I like it," said Carolyn Mather. "I could see myself going there in a few years, not having a yard to mow."
"I'm sure glad to see this," school board member Anita Cruse said. "It makes you feel better."
Wiedemann said the grant proposal for the project would be due in October and the awards would be announced in December. They would then have 90 days to do construction drawings and technical submissions, and would be able to close on the property probably in May. Construction would begin as soon as they closed on the property and the units would be available for occupancy probably in Spring of 2010.
"We're impressed," concluded one Buffalo resident, as other residents nodded in agreement.