New Design For Veteran Housing Seems To Have More Support

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)-The last time the Victory Village housing proposal faced City Council members, nearly 300 concerned citizens gathered within the council chamber walls. Several supported it while dozens voiced their criticism.

Leaders of Pridon LLC, the veteran housing's develepors were hoping round two during Tuesday night's work session was a bit more favorable.

The original plan proposed nearly 80 units and two separate complexes set across the street from residential housing.
Council member Karen Hiller saw the old plan as unnecessary saying, "I think it didn't fit, it was two buildings on these empty lots with a park in-between and just a square peg into a round hole."

The new design will be located on the southeast corner of the VA property. Featuring only 30 housing units in a 3 story design with the $3.97 Million price tag financed with equity generated by the sale of tax credits.
Council member Manspeaker applauded the new design, saying, "I think the best part was they really listened to the neighbors to address all of their concerns that they originally had."

Many of the council members seemed in favor of the scaled down version of victory village but Mayor Bunten, a veteran himself, was the most vocal about being unsure. "We don't need more veteran housing, I just dont see a need for it," said the Mayor.

Even after the Mayor voiced his opinion, several council board members pointed to a need for the housing based on the alarming rate of veterans who need help.

Council member Manspeaker said, "Twenty percent of the nations homeless are veterans. We definitely need to serve them because they have served us."
Council members will take up the Victory Village housing again in next weeks agenda.

Former council members Bob Archer and John Alcala were honored during Tuesday night's council meeting for their service on the board.

Mayor Bunten graciously thanked both gentleman for their service to the city of Topeka and left each with a special plaque as a gift.

Alcala is leaving to serve in the Kansas House of Representatives and Archer to the Shawnee County Commission.

Unless a special session is called on January 29th, the council will vote on replacements to fill the vacant positions February 5th.

Also honored in Tuesday's council meeting were the members of Terry's All Stars.

A team of Billiard players out of Topeka's Terry's Billiards, recently won the national Amateur 8-Ball Championships.

It is the fourth time Terry's All-Stars have won the national championship. Making Topeka the only city in the country to boast such a stat.