Bethel City Council to consider Old Senior Center proposal

Bethel Winter House seeking property for operations

The City of Bethel will be considering whether or not to direct city administration to negotiate and execute an agreement with Bethel Winter House for the transfer or sale of the facility known as the “Old Senior Center” for the primary purpose of serving homeless individuals.

The proposal will be introduced via Action Memorandum 20-28 during the July 14th, 2020 regular city council meeting. AM 20-28 is sponsored by city council member Cece Franko.

The City of Bethel currently owns the Old Senior Center property located at 127 Atsaq Street. This property has been vacant for many years and the City of Bethel is incurring heating/electrical costs, states AM 20-28. The building is also degrading and is subject to frequent vandalism, posing a liability risk to the City of Bethel.

The Bethel Winter House is seeking a property for permanent operations, according to the action memo provided to council for the upcoming meeting. Bethel Winter House’s lack of a permanent facility was highlighted during the COVID-19 public health crisis. Bethel Winter House, in partnership with Bethel Community Services Foundation is seeking project management funds for efforts to identify an appropriate facility and initiate a codes/conditions evaluation of the identified facility.

Preliminary research indicates that the “Old Senior Center” facility is both available and an appropriate size for Bethel Winter House operations. Bethel Winter House is seeking the ability to negotiate with City administration for the transfer or sale of the facility. Bethel Winter House will then seek CARES funds from a partner for renovation costs for the purpose of providing essential services to a vulnerable population during this public health crisis. At this time, it is expected that the land would be retained by the City of Bethel and a long-term land lease would be included in these negotiations.

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