Luther Manor Communities is planning to expand its Asbury campus to include a dementia unit and assisted living. The non-profit will get up to $9 million in financing help from the city of Sageville, and possibly Peosta.

Cities within eight miles of the project can act as conduits by issuing bonds.

“The whole project, in its entirety, will be 80 beds,” said Luther Manor executive director Janet Warren. Phase one would consist of 48 assisted living and dementia-specific units, for which Luther Manor officials seek $15 million, she said.

“The cities can borrow money at a lesser rate than private companies can,” said Sageville mayor Don Recker. “In the end, they save money by going through us.” This method of financing tax-exempt projects is allowed under Chapter 419 of Iowa Code, and is common, according to Luther Manor attorney Cristina Kuhn.

Though Peosta has not yet held a public hearing, Karen Snyder said that most Peosta City Council members supported the idea, and Warren said Peosta was the first to offer assistance as a conduit city. The city of Asbury had already earmarked its 2016 $10 million limit on “bank qualified” obligations.

The Luther Manor bonds would have limited obligations for the cities and would not count against their constitutional debt limits. Under the loan agreement, Luther Manor would be solely responsible for paying the bonds back, as well as any costs and a nominal fee.

“We’re really appreciative of Sageville for giving us this opportunity and allowing us to move forward with this project,” said Warren.

Luther Manor currently has independent and skilled living apartments. “On (the Asbury) campus, we will have the complete continuum of care, so it will be less disruptive to families and couples,” said Warren.

With the expansion, if someone has a short-term rehab from injury of illness, he or she would be able to return home within the campus, she said. Luther Manor’s Hillcrest facility in Dubuque will continue to offer long-term care.