Ogden considers donating land for homeless shelter

Published: Monday, Aug. 23 2010 11:21 p.m. MDT

OGDEN — Ogden city leaders will decide whether to approve a proposed donation of municipal property for a new homeless shelter.

St. Anne's Center plans to build the new shelter on a 5-acre property at 33rd Street and Pacific Avenue if the city council determines donating the land is in the public's interest.

Council policy analyst Janene Eller-Smith said the council supports the donation, which is on the agenda for a meeting Tuesday.

"We are happy to donate land to make a difference in people's lives," said Mayor Matthew Godfrey, who agreed to the donation last week.

According to city code, all property conveyances are to be based on the highest and best economic return to the municipality. Because no money is involved in the transaction, council members must conclude the deal still benefits the city.

"It's a win-win for the community," said Graham Lovelady, spokesman for the shelter's board of directors.

The new shelter would replace an existing facility that is cramped and poorly equipped to serve families, Godfrey said.

Lovelady said the existing shelter would be torn down, and the land would be leased to provide income to St. Anne's.

Plans for the new shelter call for 14 family rooms, 80 beds for males and 30 beds for females, an administrative office and a storage area for donated items.

Godfrey estimated construction costs around $4 million. He said The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has already contributed $1.5 million toward the shelter, and St. Anne's is preparing an application for a large donation from a private foundation that Godfrey declined to identify.

Officials with St. Anne's hope to begin construction in mid-2011 and open the facility by the end of next year.

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