City Council Votes on New Housing Project

GARNER, IA – Opportunity Village is a local organization which provides housing for those with disabilities and they’re looking to build in Garner. After some opposition, it all came down to a vote earlier this week.

“I don’t think tonight could’ve gone any better,” says Jim Aberg with Opportunity Village.

That’s because there was a new tone in the Garner City Hall on Tuesday night. It was a unanimous vote. Opportunity Village is officially allowed to build a home in their town; however, this didn’t come without some concerns.

“Well one, we had our initial meeting on May 19th, a couple concerns came up with city safety and property values,” says Jim.

Those issues were quickly addressed.

“We have 24 hour supervision and that seemed to address some of the safety concerns,” says Jim.

As for property values, he cites research from a New York business.

“If the home fits into the neighborhood very nicely, is very well maintained and that there’s no crime, that actually the research is very strong that there is no negative effect at all on property values,” says Jim.

Despite these concerns, the folks of Garner want to make clear that they will welcome these new residents with open arms.

“Garner is a really great community. It’s welcoming of people. It has lots of opportunities for everybody, so I think once word got out at what happened at the meeting, a lot of people were upset and you’ll notice most of the people here will be very supportive of Opportunity Village opening a home here,” says community member Kathy Aberg.

After talking with community members himself, Jim Aberg is more confident than ever that Garner is a great location for their next home.

“Garner is a very nice community. It is a jewel. They used to have a sign out there that said it’s a jewel, secondly it’s a very nice neighborhood and very, very good people in this community,” says Jim.

One resident who was originally on the fence, would agree.

“I shared, why wouldn’t we want the folks we support to live in this nice town and she said to me, Jim that’s a really good point.”

This home will house four women ages 46 to 58.

Those at Opportunity Village are also looking at opening a second home in Garner, but it will not be in the same subdivision.

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