Retirement Community Becoming a Reality

Article excerpt

When the Rev. Lloyd Hackbarth of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Wentzville saw a need for a retirement community in Wentzville, he set to work galvanizing community leaders and church members.

That was two years ago. The temporary board consisting of David Agne, Harry Corbett, Jackie Dickherber, Florence Heine, and Roland Temme organized into the Wentzville Retirement Community Corp. - a non-profit organization that is working to carry Hackbarth's vision into reality.

The retirement community will be built on 10 to 12 acres in Wentzville that has yet to be purchased. Plans for the development include 40 one- and two-bedroom cottages and 60 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

A central administration building would house offices, dining and activity facilities and an interdenominational chapel. Employees would work around the clock.

Residents would be asked to pay a monthly service charge that could include from 20 meals a month to all meals plus transportation, security, insurance, maintenance and utilities.

Charter memberships in the Wentzville Retirement Community are being offered through March for $10 an individual and $25 an organization. Memberships will be renewable each year for $5.

Members will be involved in development decisions, ongoing operations and the election of a permanent board of directors. Regular memberships will be available after April.

About 40 charter members have signed up so far. Hackbarth's goal is 300.

The first meeting of charter members has been scheduled for 2 p.m. Jan. 23 at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 317 West Pearce Boulevard, Wentzville.

Hackbarth was motivated to build the retirement community when he observed that a large number of his older church members were unable to maintain their homes but were not ready for a nursing home.

Hackbarth said the only two retirement homes in Wentzville are rent-subsidized.

"The people who would purchase cottages and apartments in the Wentzville Retirement Community are not eligible for subsidized senior citizen housing because their incomes are too high," Hackbarth explained. "And most people who have expressed an interest prefer to stay in Wentzville when they make a move to a retirement community."

Hackbarth said that the Wentzville Retirement Community project is a community endeavor. …