USDA approves Spearville Senior Living funding

Jill Way
Dodge City Daily Globe
This architectural rendering depicts the skilled-nursing residence that will be built in Spearville. An assisted-living apartment complex also is included in the $5.1 million project.

A local group of senior adults recently received some good news in hard times.

According to a news release, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Rural Development approved an application from Spearville Senior Living Inc. and awarded the organization $4 million in funding for a local senior living project — a campus to be named Sunrise at Spearville.

“This is a loan at a very favorable interest rate,” Ron Temaat, Spearville Senior Living board of directors chairman, said in the release. “This project could not happen without USDA funding. We are very grateful.”

The $5.1 million project will feature 14 private rooms in a skilled-nursing building, an expansion from initial plans that included 12 rooms, the release said. An assisted-living apartment complex will also accommodate 12 residents.

Spearville Senior Living is the nonprofit organization that will operate Sunrise at Spearville, according to the release.

Temaat said the good news doesn’t stop there.

The leader of the construction team, Josh Vogel, grew up in Wright and attended middle school and high school in Spearville. He is director of preconstruction at Simpson Construction Services in Wichita.

“The board of directors is working with Josh on a timeline that includes breaking ground on the project late this year with completion about a year later,” Temaat said. “Occupancy will start in January 2022.”

Simpson Construction was one of several companies interviewed for the project, the release said.

Temaat said the company was chosen for the staff’s experience and professionalism.

The release said Vogel expressed his “sincere interest in this senior-living project during the interview.”

“It is not often you get the opportunity to come back home and help with a project such as this,” Vogel said in a statement. “It is so important to the community.”

Temaat said there has been a delay in construction. He said this was because the “USDA significantly changed its processes at about the same time we submitted our initial loan application late in 2018.”

He said the organization continued to work with Rural Development until the application was approved.

“COVID-19 also factored into the delays in breaking ground,” Temaat said.

Spearville Senior Living has hired Topeka-based GraceTeam to help operate Sunrise at Spearville, according to the release. GraceTeam operates SunPorch of Dodge City and other locations in Kansas.

“Their experience will be a great asset as we begin construction and look to the day-to-day operation,” Temaat said. “We are fortunate to have John Grace and his team involved in this project. They are vital to our success during financing, design and construction. In addition, they will help train staff and manage daily operations.”

Continued fundraising campaign

With the approval from Rural Development, Temaat said, Spearville Senior Living will resume its $520,000 fundraising campaign.

“To date, we have sold approximately half the tax credits and plan to have the rest sold by the end of this year,” he said.

Last summer, Spearville Senior Living received a $250,000 tax credit award from the Kansas Department of Commerce, the release said. This means a donor will receive a tax credit equal to 70% of a gift.

In some cases, a federal tax deduction also applies, the release said. For example, if an individual or business gives $10,000, the Kansas tax credit comes to $7,000 and the federal tax deduction could be $3,000.

“This is an extraordinary opportunity,” Temaat said. “The tax credits supplement local support by allowing a significant part of a donation to offset tax liability.”

The Tom Feist Foundation donated $1 million to the project, the release said.