PRESTONSBURG — A new low-income apartment complex could be coming to town soon, after the city council voted Monday night to deed a 2.6-acre tract of land in the Stonecrest Industrial Park to Mountain Comprehensive Care on a provisional basis.
Mountain Comp is planning to build a 24-unit complex at the site, with all but five of the units reserved for special needs residents. All of the units would be reserved for low-income residents.
While the apartments would be open to anyone meeting the criteria for renting, Mountain Comp hopes the apartments can be used to help those successfully completing a residential drug treatment program at a facility being built on an adjacent tract a way to transition back into society.
All that currently stands in the way of construction is grant approval and a ruling by the U.S. Economic Development Administration on whether construction of such a facility is an acceptable use of the industrial park.
The council overwhelmingly agreed to grant the land to Mountain Comp, with the stipulation that the site revert back to the city if EDA approval is not obtained.
However, the vote was not unanimous, with councilman Harry Adams questioning why the city was giving the land to Mountain Comp, after previously giving the organization two other tracts in the park, for the drug treatment center and for a residential psychiatric treatment facility.
Adams also wondered aloud whether giving Mountain Comp the land would set a precedent that would obligate the city to give away land for other apartment complexes.
Others, however, said they believed the project to be worthy of the sacrifice. Councilman David Gearheart pointed out the shortage of such housing in city limits, while economic development director Mike Vance noted that the project would create jobs in the city.
The council voted 7-1 in favor of making the land grant, with only Adams voting against it.