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Alzheimer’s facility grant endorsed

Alzheimer’s facility grant endorsed

CASPER - The Natrona County Commission agreed Tuesday to sponsor a grant request for a nonprofit group's business plan for a long-term care facility for those with Alzheimer's disease.

"We have the (preliminary architect's) drawings," Mary Hein of Wyoming Dementia Care said during the commission's regular biweekly meeting.

"We would like to move forward with this project," Hein said.

Wyoming Dementia Care wants a $12,750 grant from the Wyoming Business Council, with a $4,250 match of its own, for the $17,000 needed to hire a consultant to write a business plan for a project tentatively outlined for a cluster of six houses plus an administration building in east Casper, Hein said.

"We're starting out completely from scratch," she said.

If the Business Council approves the grant, Hein expects the business plan to be completed by March, she said. The business plan will explore the financial details, and offer recommendations for obtaining funding.

Hein estimated the entire project would cost about $11 million and could be finished in 2012, she said.

Each house would be home for 10 to 12 residents, whose rooms would open to a common area for socializing and meals, she said. Three shifts of staff members would offer care throughout the day, she said.

The houses would offer a common cooking area, lifts and other equipment to assist patients, Hein said.

Real estate developer Bill Luker has donated land at 12th and Newport streets for the project, which would be built in honor of his late wife, Betty, Hein said.

Hein is canvassing nearby residents to determine if they would support such a project in their neighborhood, she said.

"If we can't have that land, Mr. Luker can get us some other land," Hein said.

The request required a public hearing. No one spoke in favor or opposition of the grant, and the commissioners unanimously approved it.

"This is I believe a vital project," Commissioner Barb Peryam said. "We'll help you every bit of the way that we can."

During the meeting on Tuesday, commissioners also approved the request from the Casper-Natrona County International Airport to submit an application for up to $1.5 million to the Wyoming Business Council for a Business Ready Grant. If the WBC approves the application, and the State Loan and Investment Board authorizes the money, the airport would improve Morgan Road on its property.

The commissioners also approved a mutual aid agreement to pay $30,000 to the Natrona County Fire Protection District, which would conduct fire inspections.

In May, county resident Dick Sadler told commissioners that the Wyoming Attorney General issued an opinion that the county, not the Fire Protection District created in 1992, had the responsibility to employ fire inspectors.

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