Spearville Senior Living Inc. recently received the good news it had been eagerly awaiting, said Ron Temaat, SSL Board of Directors chairman.
United States Department of Agriculture-Rural Development has approved SSL’s application and awarded $4 million in funding for the local senior-living project. The campus will be named Sunrise at Spearville. “This is a loan at a very favorable interest rate,” Temaat said. “This project could not happen without USDA funding. We are very grateful.”
But the good news doesn’t stop there, Temaat noted. The leader of the construction team, Josh Vogel, grew up in Wright and attended middle school and high school in Spearville. He is director of preconstruction at Simpson Construction Services, Wichita. “The board of directors is working with Josh on a timeline that includes breaking ground on the project late this year with completion about a year later,” Temaat said. “Occupancy will start in January 2022.” Simpson was one of several companies interviewed for this project. “Their experience and professionalism were impressive; the Simpson team is a great fit for SSL,” Temaat commented. Vogel expressed “my sincere interest in this senior-living project during the interview. It is not often you get the opportunity to come back home and help with a project such as this. It is so important to the community.”
SSL is the 501-c3 non-profit organization that will operate Sunrise at Spearville.
The $5.1 million project will result in 14 private rooms in the skilled-nursing building, which is an expansion from 12 rooms. The assisted-living apartment complex will accommodate 12 residents.
Temaat acknowledged there has been a delay in construction. This is because “USDA significantly changed its processes at about the same time we submitted our initial loan application late in 2018. We continued to work with Rural Development and the application was approved. “COVID-19 also factored into the delays in breaking ground,” he added.
SSL has hired the Topeka-based GraceTeam to help operate Sunrise at Spearville. “Their experience will be a great asset as we begin construction and look to the day-to-day operation,” Temaat said. “We are fortunate to have John Grace and his team involved in this project. “They are vital to our success during financing, design and construction. In addition, they will help train staff and manage daily operations.” GraceTeam operates SunPorch of Dodge City and other locations in Kansas.
With the approval from Rural Development, “we will resume our $520,000 fundraising campaign,” Temaat said. “To date, we have sold approximately half the tax credits and plan to have the rest sold by the end of this year.” Last summer, SSL received a $250,000 tax-credit award from the Kansas Department of Commerce. This means a donor receives a tax credit equal to 70 percent of the gift. In some cases, a federal tax deduction also applies. For example, if an individual or business gives $10,000, the Kansas tax credit comes to $7,000 and the federal tax deduction could be $3,000.
"This is an extraordinary opportunity,” Temaat said. “The tax credits supplement local support by allowing a significant part of a donation to offset tax liability.” The Tom Feist Foundation donated one million dollars to the project.