Potential St. Ansgar Assisted Living

The Mitchell County Board of Supervisors voted to give $6,000 towards a study to address assisted living needs in St. Ansgar on Tuesday. 

A committee formed by members of the St. Ansgar community have already scratched together $4,000 through a Heartland Power grant to go towards the feasibility study, which aims to weigh the needs of the community and come up with the size, number of rooms needed, and other variables currently unknown but are requisite for the project.

Together, that $10,000 would be enough to pay for the study.  

The committee conducted a survey of St. Ansgar residents, asking their thoughts on a potential new facility. 

Just under 380 responded, with 63 percent saying they would like to see an assisted living facility, 22 percent saying they would like an independent living facility for seniors 55+ who do not require assistance with daily living, and 14 percent saying they would like to see both. Only 2 voters said they don’t see a need for a new facility. 

The topic also ties into part of the larger, ongoing discussion revolving around housing in Mitchell County. 

“If it would free up a lot of housing, I would be all for it,” said Supervisor Barb Francis.

The county is already moving forward with incentives to build new housing, and one benefit of a new assisted living facility would potentially open up currently occupied homes. 

“Housing, again, is one of the keys,” said Supervisor Stan Walk. “It’s a key for gaining employees for our factories, keeping people here, and so on and so forth.” 

The county has plenty of money to cover their pledged controbution towards the study, but is also looking into grants and other funding to offset the cost. 

Alliant Rate Increase

The Board also expressed its opposition to Alliant Energy’s proposed rate increase, which is set to go into effect starting in 2020.

The board agreed they would begin drafting a statement against the measure, calling the increase too steep. 

“My phone has been ringing.” Walk said. “People are upset. Twenty-four percent seems to be excessively high.” 

The proposal has met some resistance — an online petition started elsewhere in Iowa had over 41,700 signatures as of Tuesday.

Alliant serves large parts of Mitchell County, especially around St. Ansgar, Riceville and Stacyville. 

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