New push to find funding for St. Elizabeth project

WGEM News at Six
Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 8:23 PM CST
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - There’s a renewed push to find funding for the former St. Elizabeth Hospital building in Hannibal.

The hospital has sat vacant for more than 20 years, and the Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council (HREDC) wants to see it transformed into senior housing.

But, the money still has to be found.

HREDC executive director Corey Mehaffy said Wednesday the city of Hannibal doesn’t have enough money for this project.

They want to pay for the $12 million project with low-income housing tax credits.

“There’s an application that went in for the LIHTC or low income housing tax credits to the MHDC,” Mehaffy said.

Mehaffy said the developer is looking at other funding options, including historic tax credits, if the application doesn’t get approved.

Hannibal resident, Lenny Clark, has lived next to the building for 26 years. He said he has seen its condition worsen over time and become a safety hazard.

“If you look around the building, you can see all kinds of cracks where bricks have fallen out and fallen on the ground,” Clark said.

He said he has even seen neighborhood children sneak into the building.

“The kids, they just slide up on in there, in there, and at night, we can see little lights ping around. We can hear people,” Clark said.

Mehaffey thinks the city of Hannibal could benefit from having more senior housing.

“It’s a beautiful facility and obviously, the project will include demolition of portions of the building and restoration of portions of the building, and I really think that’ll help with the overall neighborhood and property values and some of the things that go along with that,” Mehaffey said.

There is a virtual public hearing with the MHDC on Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 pm.

You can find that link to register here.

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