Fort Scott Needs Your Support for the Western

The City of Fort Scott learned a few days ago that this year’s tax credit competition through the Kansas Housing Resource Corporation is highly competitive. Our downtown Western Building redevelopment project is dependent on the award of these tax credits.

We are asking for your assistance in writing a support letter to demonstrate how much the Fort Scott community is behind this project to save the Western Building. Below is some information about the project and talking points to personalize in your own letter. Thank you in advance for your help in revitalizing Fort Scott’s historic downtown.

The City of Fort Scott views this project as an excellent opportunity for economic development by taking underutilized property and redeveloping it for valuable use. We have worked diligently for several years with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, through the Brownfield’s program, to identify environmental hazards and determine potential future use for the former Western Insurance property. The Fort Scott City Commission voted unanimously in 2014 to commit $1,000,000 of city capital improvement funds to the project for environmental remediation consisting of mold and asbestos abatement. The Western Building Senior Apartments will be a significant improvement over the existing blighted structure.
The redevelopment will be focused on preserving the historical characteristics of the building while incorporating high-quality apartments. The attention to historic preservation of the building while offering modern amenities, embodies the spirit of Fort Scott as the hometown with a historic past and a promising future.
Please consider sending a personalized letter of support for the project. Some information to consider when drafting a letter (please do not copy and paste, but make the letter your own, as KHRC has seen this information in the City’s support letter):

* Fort Scott residents thoughtfully remember the former Western Insurance building as a thriving business and the center of commerce for this community.

* Saving the property from demolition, and converting it to much needed elderly housing, will preserve a significant piece of our city’s great history.

* The addition of 40 apartment units serving fixed-income seniors will help meet the current and future housing needs of our community.

* The setting of downtown is perfect for seniors that do not wish to travel far for services and activities.

* The housing project would be a neighbor to City Hall and there are a number of restaurants, retail, barber/salons, service-based businesses and attractions within walking distance.

* The successful completion of this project a critical component in the revitalization of our historic downtown. The project will be a catalyst for further developments in the downtown historic district.

* Local companies are expanding and working diligently to recruit employees to the area. A thriving downtown is a key consideration people take into account when relocating to a community for employment.

* The redevelopment of the Western Building property is not financially possible without the allocation of tax credits to an experienced developer of historic properties.

* It would be devastating to the Fort Scott community to allow the property to continue to deteriorate to the point of condemnation and ultimately demolition.

Address letters to:

Fred Bentley
Director of Rental Housing Development
Kansas Housing Resources Corporation

Email letters to:

[email protected]

DEADLINE: Friday March 20, 2015 (TOMORROW – at the time of publication)

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