This week members of the Shady Rest Committee reviewed four “soft” proposals for use of the now vacant facility east of town.
Proposals were received from four organizations including S.T.O.P. (Save the Old Properties), Prairie View Adult Services, Gregg Erickson and Glenn Peterson. Each offered something a bit different. S.T.O.P. has an interest in turning the Shady Rest Home into a health center and a multi-use iconic facility focusing on wellness. Glenn Peterson’s proposal would establish an intergenerational community in the same fashion that the Marshall County Infirmary was originally established.
Prairie View Adult Services would like to provide programming and an environment that is conducive for rehabilitation and increase the opportunity to battle addiction. They would work collaboratively with Marshall County Community Corrections, the Marshall County Court system and the Bowen Center.
Gregg Erickson and his wife Kelly would like to create a program for those being released from jail that have shown a desire to change their life to become productive members of the community. Their program would provide housing, jobs, counseling, financial accountability and community volunteering.
Committee members (Commissioner Kurt Garner, Councilwoman Judy Stone, County Clerk Deb VanDeMark, City Councilman Bill Walters, Community Corrections Director Ward Byers, Dustin Schafer from the Neighborhood Center, county resident with a financial background Dennis Bevel and Veterans service Officer Pam Betz) were interested in the proposals from Prairie View Adult Service and Gregg Erickson and thought if the two could collaborate and join forces they could provide a needed service in the county.
Byers indicated that Prairie View and or a collaboration with Gregg Erickson could be used by the court system as an option for housing for those who aren’t ready to be independent. The court could order them into their structured support system.
The Shady Rest Committee did discuss the possibility of selling the property if a suitable use could not be found. While one or two of the proposals showed interest in purchasing the facility, the county could sell it out-right, they would have to sell it through an auction process. The county could lease the property to a for-profit or non-profit organization. Commissioner Kurt Garner said they could pull out the Bowen Center lease and adjust it to work for a new entity.
On Tuesday, September 26th Gregg Erickson and Prairie View Adult Services will do formal presentation before the Shady Rest Committee and then on October 10th the committee will conduct their regular meeting to discuss the options and the next step in the process.