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EDITORIAL: Grace Place move makes perfect sense

The proposed move of Grace Place into a larger facility in New Richmond appears to be progressing forward.

At a New Richmond Plan Commission meeting May 7, city officials determined that the former Deerfield Gables nursing home building is zoned properly if the transitional housing organization were to move in. No conditional use permits would be required, although a site plan and stormwater review would be necessary if improvements are made to the property.

Of course nearby residents have had some questions about Grace Place and the types of residents that would live there. Officials with the Salvation Army, which runs the shelter, assure local residents that there will be constant supervision at the facility and background checks are conducted on all prospective residents.

With such questions answered, really the only remaining question is if a larger building is needed by Grace Place. Anyone who has ever visited the existing shelter in Somerset can easily see that space is at a premium there.

With the former nursing home building, Grace Place will have more room to help more people. And paid staff members and volunteers will have more office area from which to conduct their important business.

It doesn't appear that demand for transitional housing will be going away anytime soon in St. Croix County. The proposed move would open up more beds and meet the needs of individuals and families in the region for years to come.

Here's hoping that the community rallies behind the Grace Place move and the path is cleared for a smooth transition.