Hartford may support $1 million loan to help create 65 new jobs at White River Junction senior citizen complex

Hartford is considering applying for $1 million in Vermont Community Development Program money to provide a "working capital loan for creation of approximately 65 full-time jobs at" at the senior citizen residential complex under construction in White River Junction, the town says. 

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There will be a public hearing on the application Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall to get citizen input on the proposal to give a financial boost to the Village at White River Junction, a for-profit assisted living and memory care complex. 

The complex bills itself as "a revolutionary $27 million assisted living and memory care facility with 80 large, light-filled apartments, restaurant style dining, a fireside bistro, wifi throughout the building, as well as a dog park, a rooftop garden, a cinema, spa and gym."

Located between Northern Stage and the United Methodist Church, the complex will provide seniors with a home in a walkable and increasingly lively village center. The rents aren't cheap; project developers said in the spring that the units will range in cost from $8,400 to $10,850 a month. 

"Not everyone will have the opportunity to consider this as an option. But if you are considering assisted living, you will find this pricing is what you expect," developer Brooke Ciardelli told the Valley News. 

Vermont community development grants are awarded on a competitive basis to communities that need help in funding public-private partnerships designed to improve housing, create jobs and provide other kinds of economic help. In this case, the grant would be used to provide a loan to the project. 

Priority is normally given to projects that help lower-income residents and non-profit organizations, the state website says. "VCDP funds must primarily benefit persons of low and moderate income. In addition, assistance is provided to communities for threats of health and safety issues as urgent needs and slums and blight projects."

It remains to be seen how the Village at White River Junction project — a for-profit enterprise aimed at higher-income seniors — would fare. But surely, helping to create 65 full-time jobs would provide considerable appeal. 

Beginning Aug. 17, copies of the proposed VCDP application will be available at Hartford Town Hall, 171 Bridge Street in White River Junction. 

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