The Barry County Board of Commissioners Tuesday held their first Committee of the Whole meeting of 2020 and approved a Letter of Consent for Refugee Resettlement in Barry County at the request of Bethany Christian Services. Jane Trejo of Bethany, explained that an Executive Order issued last September by President Donald Trump requires that agencies like Bethany Christian Services must obtain written consent from State and County governments before they can perform refugee resettlement services within that county. Currently, Bethany does not place refugee adults and families in Barry County, however there is one licensed foster family at this time who would like to take in and care for Unaccompanied Refugee Minors.
The Committee of the Whole also heard an update from Don Haney, Director of Thornapple Manor, regarding the feasibility studies of expanding the campus at Thornapple Manor to add Independent and Assisted Living units for seniors. Last year, Thornapple Manor did a preliminary study that showed Barry County needs approximately 220 additional Affordable Housing units for seniors and at least 60 additional units at Market Rate. In addition, the first study showed the need for at least 60 assisted living beds and 30 more for dementia care. Next, Haney said, Thornapple Manor paid for a market study to make sure there is positive support for such a project. A financial feasibility study is now getting underway to look at revenue streams, and they will soon start looking at site selection. Haney stressed that there will not be any request for taxpayer money and that the project will not go forward unless if it is financially self-sustaining.