Board president addresses Timber Springs problems

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Timber Springs board president Dr Jerry Holbert moved from Nacogdoches several years ago, but he returns in an effort to keep a proposed senior housing project that he developed alive.   "We have two groups that we are actively trying to move to a yes," he said in between phone calls with potential investors. Holbert says within in the last day a third investor entered into the picture. "We have land. We have construction drawings. The architectural plans are complete. We have contractors already lined up to do the deal, so all those things are in play."

The problem lies with finances. First, a pursuit for tax exempt bonds in 2007 ended when the market crashed. Today the board is using an equity and debt approach. Developers like it. The trouble is banks aren't loaning the money. Not good for those standing in the wings for payment. "Law firms, development people, contractors, architects, everybody has deferred compensation waiting for financing," said Holbert.

That commitment extends to donated property, a city built road and thousands in donations. But the seed money has run out. The marketing staff was sent home, some without a paycheck and vacation pay. Holbert says board members are volunteering money out of their own pocket to pay the expenses. Through it all 55 future tenants remain committed to the project.    unfortunately, the project has taken so long to get off the ground that some enrollees have had to go to other assistant living centers. In extreme cases, some enrollees have lost their dying wish to live out their final days at Timber Springs. Now it's the wish of Holbert and others that Timber Springs doesn't die.