MILFORD — The April 15 meeting of Milford Redevelopment Commission was attended by Kosciusko Economic Development Corporation President Alan Tio, who updated the commission on KEDCo’s efforts to facilitate the relaunch of Stonehenge Golf Course.
The project, said Tio, is “budget neutral to our organization;” however, because no single entity was capable of taking on the relaunch alone, KEDCo is in the early stages of organizing a “broad project team” to bring the golf course back to Winona Lake. “We’re taking on a leadership role,” added Tio. “But for us, who will step in?”
The proactive attitude extends to all of Kosciusko County. “I’d like to find things to work on in Milford as well,” Tio offered.
Commission President Dan Brown responded Milford has a TIF district of roughly 200 acres “set up and ready to go,” referring to property north of town zoned for industrial use. The property has received attention in recent months, however, neither Milford or KEDCo have been contacted since.
The former Lakeland Health and Rehabilitation Center building, vacated in December 2018, also remains unaccounted for, though Harvest Coffee owner Karena Wilkinson has expressed interest in utilizing at least a portion of the building.
According to member Charlie Bird, Leisure Living Apartments in Milford has “quite a waiting list,” showing a wider need for senior housing; however, Trilogy Health Services, the owner of Lakeland, found the facility did not meet its business model, as it was not designed for assisted living accommodations. At one time, Brown recalled, Trilogy had offered to share past designs exploring the building’s possible renovation, but the town has yet to receive further word.
Tricia Gall, commission secretary, agreed to arrange a tour of the Lakeland building for Tio.
Brown updated the commission on legislation currently under consideration at the state level to establish housing districts to assist with the development of workforce housing. The districts would also be funded using tax incremental funding in the same way industrial TIF districts such as the two managed by Milford Redevelopment Commission.
“They will be targeted toward smaller population counties,” said Brown. Kosciusko County would qualify.
“It’s looking positive,” added Tio. School corporations may have to approve the districts as well; however, this seems likely as the housing districts could increase the tax base and enrollments.