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Nursing Home Proposal Presented to PEP Board

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Jillane Hixson, Prowers County resident, represented her group for Sage Brush Meadows, Inc. to the Prowers Economic Prosperity board in their goal to develop a new nursing home in the Lamar area. She addressed the PEP members, Tuesday, June 6th, accompanied by Brad Semmens and Jay Brooke.  The concept of a new nursing home has been proposed by Hixson for several years and she and her group have sought land donations and a means of securing a needed state-issued Medicaid certificate that would allow a new nursing home to be erected in the Lamar area.

She said a recent donation of 10.28 acres of land north of Spreading Antlers Golf Course will serve as the site for the proposed 60/80 bed facility that is on the drawing board and they are seeking seed money for a feasibility study which is estimated at $35,000 and may be covered under a USDA grant for 501C3 operations. The cost of the project is $12M which will be paid back at 3.38% interest over 40 years under a USDA loan.  An impediment to the operation, a Medicaid Certificate of operation for a new nursing home granted by the state, may be waived due to the classification of the nursing home, designated as a Green House Project.  The state has imposed a moratorium on new certificates.  Previously, the plans for Sage Brush Meadows moving ahead would have been to receive the certificate from an existing, local nursing home operation.

“The facility would allow for a private room for every resident as well as amenities such as a sink, vanity and handicapped shower,” she explained, adding that a commons area would be available as well as some small shops on-site to allow the residents an ability to mingle with others in a social setting. She said the cost per room would be comparable to what’s currently being paid for nursing home services, at $185 per day, or $6,000 a month. “That money currently leaves this area to go to the home company,” she said.  “With this project, the funds would remain in the community and we’d be serving the region in southeast Colorado.  Hixson said the plans include a section devoted to memory care, which is not locally available.

Eric Depperschmidt, PEP Executive Director, explained that a deadline of September 15th is approaching for submission of the letter of intent for the grant for the federal fiscal year. Jay Brooke, a member of the organization estimated from 100-150 new jobs would be created to operate the nursing home which would take 18 months to construct.

By Russ Baldwin

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