Senior citizen center to be built in Okemos

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By Jackie Dumbleton
Meridian Times staff writer

OMEMOS — A concept plan for a new senior citizen health-care center was proposed to the Meridian Township Board at it’s Feb. 21 meeting.

Mark Kielselbach, director of Community Planning and Development, and Mike Powell, from Powell Engineering and Associates, went over the plan for the center that will be located on eight acres just south of Central Park Estates between Central Park Drive and Powell Road in Okemos.

The center will be a project of Trilogy Health Services, a group that builds senior citizen health-care facilities in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan.

According to Powell, the proposed facility in Okemos will consist of 91 beds: 55 for skilled nursing care and 36 for assisted living. The 53,138-square-foot building will have 51 full-time and 17 part-time employees.

The site is zoned for single-family homes. Health-care facilities may be built with a special use permit.

Access to the property would be through a new road that will intersect with Central Park Drive, said Kielselbach. The road will be on the south side of Central Park to avoid the wetland to the north.

Most trustees said they were impressed with the plan and had few suggestions.

Township Board Supervisor Susan McGillicuddy, however, said that the center should be moved from its current proposed location due to the zoning.

“The plan looks nice, but the location seems odd to me,” said McGIllicuddy. “It would make more sense to me to move it greatly south because, even though it’s residential, it’s more of a commercial use of the property, and (we should) save that northern portion for homes that would add to the neighborhood.”

Appearance and noise were also concerns. Powell explained that the center would be lined by vegetation to block the one-story building from sight. He also said the generator, which will provide the building with electricity, will be behind walls and soundproofed to reduce noise.

Next, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposal. With consideration of comments by the Township Board, a decision will be made about the use and size of the facility.

“A complete plan has not been submitted, so it’s got quite a ways to go yet,” said Rick Brown, associate planner of the Meridian Township Planning Division.

The center’s proposal at the Meridian Township Board Meeting can be viewed at the HOMTV website.

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