By Brandi Makuski
City leaders on Tuesday could decide how to proceed with a laundry list of repairs needed at Edgewater Manor.
The senior living facility has been a topic of discussion for several years. After several attempts- some public, some private- to unload the aging building to a private entity, the city-owned facility has remained a topic of heated discussion for building residents, members of the City Council and the public.
In September Mayor Mike Wiza scheduled a special City Council meeting so alders could hear all the facts on the property. The two-hour meeting saw presentations from various city departments and former housing officials who provided details relating to the repairs needed and past experience with low-income properties owned by the city.
“We wanted all the alderpersons to have an opportunity to hear ‘just the facts’, if you will, about the property and what types of repairs department heads felt were needed,” Wiza said of the meeting. “This way, what’s needed isn’t confused with the emotional testimony we’ve heard on the property.”
The building’s management company, Candlewood Management, was not invited to speak.
But Wiza did allow one of the building’s residents to speak. Mary Meyer, an Edgewater resident and vocal proponent of keeping the building as a city-owned entity, was allowed to give her thoughts regarding why she believed the building was vital to the fixed-income residents. Meyer had already spoken at length during several previous meetings, authored testimony read by other building residents at public hearings, and has since begun circulating a petition in various neighborhoods in an effort to keep the building. She also runs the building’s website.
When asked why he allowed Meyer to speak during the meeting he had billed as “fact-based”, Wiza said, “I wanted to make sure everyone felt like they were being heard.”
The Council will discuss the final outcome of the testimony they’ve heard up to the Oct. 13 meeting. Topics for discussion include possible changes to occupancy eligibility, selling the property and/or borrowing funds for needed repairs.
The meeting will be held at 6 PM in the Lincoln Center, 1519 Water Street. The public is welcome to attend.