March 12, 2014

Manning could soon have an assisted-living facility, located just south of the school, said Dawn Rohe, city administrator.

Manning officials received word at the end of last week that the owners of Char-Mac, who already operate assisted-living facilities in Lawton and Holstein, were approved for financing through the Small Business Administration, a federal program that provides loans, counseling and other assistance to small businesses.

Manning officials approached co-owner Jeanine Chartier about a year ago, said Rohe. The goal is for the facility to house 36 units.

The plot for the facility is currently agricultural land. The next step for the city will be to rezone the land and finance the extension of streets, water and sewer lines, said Rohe.

The city will likely use tax increment financing to fund the expansion. The lot was added to the city's urban-renewal plan at a special council meeting last Tuesday.

This move allows the additional taxes earned from the residential upgrades to the agricultural land to be used to finance economic development within Manning's urban-renewal area. However, the city won't know how much revenue the changes will generate until the assessor reviews the blueprints, added Rohe.

The addition of an assisted-living facility to the town will fill a gap in health care in Manning, said Rohe. It is a gap Manning leaders have discussed for more than 10 years, she added.

Manning currently has a long-term-care facility, the Manning Plaza, which has 56 beds. The proposed assisted-living facility will accommodate citizens who need a lower level of care, said Rohe.

A city-needs assessment conducted in 2009 kicked off the most recent effort to recruit an assisted-living facility, added Rohe. The study showed a need for up to 16 units by 2014. Leaders also hope the presence of the facility will open up some single-family homes throughout town.

"If everything does come through to completion, it's just that next step on health care," said Manning Mayor Harvey Dales. "Basically you could say cradle to grave."

Estimated cost for the facility and time to completion are not yet known.

According to the Char-Mac Assisted Living website, Chartier was named the Iowa Healthcare Association's top assisted-living director in 2004 and the National Center for Assisted Living's administrator of the year in 2008. In 2007, Kim Luze at the Lawton facility was named Iowa's assisted-living director of the year, and in 2009, Kristi Waller at the Holstein facility was named Iowa's assisted-living director of the year.

Chartier did not respond to requests for comment.