Community Council: Housing, Senior Living, Grants, Election

by Leslie Lytle, Messenger Staff Writer

At the Sept. 12 meeting, the Sewanee Community Council heard updates on initiatives to address Sewanee’s housing shortage and senior living needs. The council approved a $5,000 grant for repair and rehabilitation of the St. Mark’s Community Center. Six seats on the council come open for election this fall, and election officer John Solomon provided information on how to become a candidate.

Reporting on housing needs, University Vice President for Economic Development and Community Relations David Shipps said Sewanee Village Ventures was “advancing on construction of five to seven single family homes on vacant leasehold not taken by employees in the lottery.” Superintendent of Leases Sallie Green confirmed all employees who wanted a leasehold received one, with 10 lots spoken for. The lots can only be transferred to permanent residents, Green said. No more lots would be released until all the available lots had been assigned. Shipps said the homes constructed by SVV would be “as affordable as possible,” although acknowledging, “Affordability can be defined 100 different ways.”

Shipps announced the formation of two housing-focused working groups. Shipps will head a group looking at what housing policies and programs best serve the University’s goal of attracting and retaining employees. “Other Universities do creative things to provide an onramp to housing,” Shipps said, “And it’s not just university housing.” He speculated there might be a “mismatch” between new employees and how many wanted to own single-family homes. “Interest in home ownership varies,” Shipps said. The council elected Pam Byerly to serve as the working-group’s council representative.

Acting Provost Scott Wilson will chair a group tasked with addressing policy questions about who has access to University rental housing and questions about demand—the number of units needed, the type of housing, and for how long. Wilson said a survey was underway “to get a handle on demand.” He observed some employees wanted to live in rental housing “quite a while” beyond the current three-year limit. Non-university rentals “might relieve the burden on the University.”

Asked about renovation of University rental housing, Wilson said $150,000, annually, was allocated for that purpose in 2018. The pandemic and the difficulty of renovating occupied rentals has delayed progress. Plans call for renovations this coming year.

Providing an update on senior living initiatives, Solomon, who serves on the Arcadia board as well as the council, said a research firm would conduct a survey to gather information to guide design of Arcadia, the proposed Sewanee senior living facility. Area residents will be asked about location, price, and service preferences. In another initiative, the Arcadia board has partnered with Folks at Home to introduce LiveWell by Blakeford in the Sewanee community. The lifetime-care membership program offers transportation, home care, and other services for those choosing to age at home. Blakeford, which also operates a live-in facility in Nashville, recently hired a registered nurse to serve the Sewanee area.

June Weber, Sewanee Community Funding Project chair, said the Roberson Project prepared a detailed grant application requesting the funds to repair St. Mark’s Community Center. The application noted $7,000 total was needed, but the Center would seek donations from other sources, as well, and also plans to establish a fund to address future maintenance needs.

The Funding Project program has $2,643 remaining for community projects. Visit the Lease Office website for details about applying. The amount of available funds increases by $10,000 annually. Weber welcomes new Funding Project committee members, from both the council and community. Two council members serving on the committee will rotate off when their terms end in December.

Reporting on the council election, Solomon said one seat from each of the four districts is open for election and two at large seats. Election petitions are available at the lease office and must be returned by Oct. 14. Early voting is Oct. 19-Nov. 3 at the lease office; regular voting is election day, Nov. 8, at Sewanee Elementary School. All persons residing in the 37375 zip code for at least two years and registered to vote in Franklin or Marion County are eligible to serve on the council. Council members currently serving a full four-year term cannot seek reelection.

2023 September
2023 August
2023 July
2023 June
2023 May
2023 April
2023 March
2023 February
2023 January
2022 December
2022 November
2022 October
2022 September
2022 August
2022 July
2022 June
2022 May
2022 April
2022 March
2022 February
2022 January
2021 December
2021 November
2021 October
2021 September
2021 August
2021 July
2021 June
2021 May
2021 April
2021 March
2021 February
2021 January
2020 December
2020 November
2020 October
2020 September
2020 August
2020 July
2020 June
2020 May
2020 April
2020 March
2020 February
2020 January
2019 December
2019 November
2019 October
2019 September
2019 August
2019 July
2019 June
2019 May
2019 April
2019 March
2019 February
2019 January
2018 December
2018 November
2018 October
2018 September
2018 August
2018 July
2018 June
2018 May
2018 April
2018 March
2018 February
2018 January
2017 December
2017 November
2017 October
2017 September
2017 August
2017 July
2017 June
2017 May
2017 April
2017 March
2017 February
2017 January
2016 December
2016 November
2016 October
2016 September
2016 August
2016 July
2016 June
2016 May
2016 April
2016 March
2016 February
2016 January
2015 December
2015 November
2015 October
2015 September
2015 August
2015 July
2015 June
2015 May
2015 April
2015 March
2015 February
2015 January
2014 December
2014 November
2014 October
2014 September
2014 August
2014 July
2014 June
2014 May
2014 April
2014 March
2014 February
2014 January
2013 December
2013 November
2013 October
2013 September
2013 August
2013 July
2013 June
2013 May
2013 April
2013 March
2013 February
2013 January
2012 December
2012 November
2012 October
2012 September
2012 August
2012 July
2012 June
2012 May
2012 April
2012 March
2012 February
2012 January
2011 December
2011 November
2011 October
2011 September
2011 August
2011 July
2011 June
2011 May
2011 April
2011 March
2011 February
2011 January
2010 December
2010 November
2010 October
2010 September
2010 August
2010 July
2010 June
2010 May