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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Independent Senior Living in Aurelia

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sunset Park duplex - The eventual plan is for this duplex on West 6th Street in Aurelia to be joined by three more, all of which will be available for purchase by persons aged 65 and over. Photo by Dan Whitney
A few years ago, several members of the Aurelia community or their family members who lived in other communities expressed an interest in some type of Independent Living arrangement for Senior Citizens in Aurelia, possibly in collaboration with the community's retirement home, Sunset Knoll.

In the spring of 2005, Sunset Knoll administrator Karen Bentsen became aware of an Independent Living apartment complex affiliated with a retirement home in Mason City, called Seeland Park. Bentsen discussed the idea with the Sunset Knoll Board of Directors, and she and the Board made a trip to look at that program.

After touring Seeland Park, the Board felt that a smaller version might possibly work near Sunset Knoll.

Contact Karen - Sunset Knoll Administartor Karen Bentsen is the contact person for the Sunset Park Independent Living Duplexes for Seniors in Aurelia. Photo by Dan Whitney
Several area families expressed interest, and after much discussion and planning, the first duplex of what they decided to call Sunset Park began construction in April 2006, with Paltz Construction of Aurelia serving as the general contractor. John Paltz and his crew finished construction of the first duplex by the end of July 2006, and the first owner, Fran Hiemstra, moved in in August.

Hiemstra's duplex, which she reportedly loves, is the eastern most of two Sunset Park duplexes, and there is room for the construction of three more at the location on West 6th Street.

The floor plans for the duplexes were based on the floor plans of the Mason City units, and there are both 1250 square foot and 1600 square foot floor plans available. Purchasers can choose to add a "three seasons room," sun room or patio, if they choose. The price of the unit will, of course, depend upon the final design chosen by the purchaser.

Sunset Park is an Independent Living facility which provides retirement living for individuals or couple who are age 65 or older.

Those who purchase a duplex at Sunset Park will have care - free living. A $100 monthly maintenance fee covers the following services: property insurance ("tenant's insurance" would be paid by the duplex owner); an emergency nurse call system, which is hooked up directly to Sunset Knoll, which is right next door. Nursing personnel from Sunset Knoll will respond immediately in person to a call; also provided are snow removal, grass cutting, professional lawn care and service twice a year, and all maintenance, both inside and outside the unit. Residents of Sunset Park will be required to pay allotted property tax and utilities for their unit. Residents may use the "Multi-Purpose" room at Sunset Knoll for any group meetings or family gatherings that they might have, as long as the room isn't being used by Sunset Knoll at the requested time slot.

The 1250 square foot floor plan has two bedrooms, one bathroom, dining room, living room/ kitchen, utility room annd appliances. The 1600 sq. ft. floor plan has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, dining room, living room, kitchen, utility room and appliances. All units have an attached, 250 square foot garage with automatic door opener. All units are ground floor apartments and are wheelchair-accessible. Owners have their choice of wall color, American Berber carpet, Armstrong linoleum, and mid-line oak cabinets. The homes are fully equipped with Whirlpool appliances, including a washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, range, and microwave/hood. The homes have a water softener and water heater, and also have have individually controlled air conditioning and electric heat, and Pella brand windows.

One of the projects on the "drawing board" is the construction of a sidewalk and steps leading directly from the duplexes to the physical therapy entrance at Sunset Knoll.

Karen Bentsen is the contact if you or someone you know might be interested in looking at, and perhaps purchasing a duplex. Bentsen may be reached at 712-434-2294 weekdays. Floor plans can be viewed at Sunset Knoll.

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