HPI strikes gold in Mason City

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Note: this article appeared in "the Point," a weekly news letter distributed to employees of Alliant Energy and its subsidaries.
On Wednesday, Nov. 7, Mason City, Iowa, officials put their weight behind a new housing development, striking a gold spike to mark the beginning of construction on the state's first affordable, assisted-living facility.
More than 50 guests attended the wall-raising ceremony for Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood, located at South Kentucky and 19th Street South in Mason City. Good Shepherd Health Center and Heartland Properties, Inc. (HPI), an Alliant Energy Resources company, hosted the event.
Joyce Hanes, Alliant Energy board member, says she was privileged to be a part of the ceremony. "Experiencing and hearing about the facilities this project will provide for those in need has made me much more aware of the positive impact that Heartland Properties and Alliant Energy have on people's lives," said Hanes.
Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood will consist of 32 one-bedroom and eight two-bedroom homes. Each apartment will feature a handicap-accessible bath, kitchenette and living room.
The unique development marks the first time federal housing credits administered by the Iowa Finance Authority have been used to finance assisted living in the state. As a result, rents will be more affordable to seniors living on fixed incomes.
"Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood is a demonstration of cooperation and concern for those with special needs. We hope it will serve as a model for other communities in Iowa," said Dean Baumgardner, vice president-Heartland Properties.
The $6 million housing development is made possible through a $1.6 million investment by Alliant Energy Resources through HPI. Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood will feature an energy-efficient geothermal heating and cooling system, which uses the constant temperature of the earth to preheat water in the winter and pre-cool water in the summer.
Deb Marson, account manager-Alliant Energy, says the use of geothermal technology will result in $22,000 in energy savings and more than $8,000 in maintenance savings annually, when compared to a conventional heating and cooling system.
Alliant Energy is providing expertise on the geothermal system, and Marson says the company is proud to provide customized energy solutions to industrial and commercial clients such as Kentucky Ridge.
"Implementing geothermal heating and cooling is a perfect fit for this type of project. We are able to reduce operating costs without sacrificing comfort levels, which is an important issue with elderly tenants who are at home a great deal of the time," added Marson. "Another strong benefit is that there are no flues or chimneys, which reduces the concern over carbon monoxide."
Kentucky Ridge Neighborhood is scheduled for completion in September 2002.

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