County board to consider hiring broker to market nursing home

County board to consider hiring broker to market nursing home

URBANA — Champaign County Administrator Rick Snider said Thursday he is drafting a request for information from potential brokers to market the county nursing home.

The county board likely will consider the request in May.

The move comes after county voters earlier this month rejected a property-tax increase for the financially troubled nursing home and, separately, authorized the county board to sell or dispose of the property.

Snider said Thursday at the monthly county board meeting that he hoped that any broker also would help the county establish criteria that the county board could use to evaluate any offers to buy the institution.

The administrator also said the county needs to move "as expeditiously as possible" to consider all options for the sale or transfer of the nursing home.

The county is still hoping to find a local not-for-profit group to take over the home's operation.

Snider also told board members Thursday that he has asked nursing home administrator Karen Noffke to stay on after the home's management company, Management Performance Associates, leaves after June 30.

"I let her know that we would love her to stay with the home. I think she's a great resource. She has decades of experience in long-term care that would be hard to replace, and she knows that home inside and out," he said.

Snider also said he is still negotiating with an unidentified individual to replace MPA as the home's interim professional manager. He said the consultant has indicated he might be willing to live in the home.

Snider also said the nursing home's census continues to drop. Earlier this week, he said, it was 139. As recently as January, the average daily census was 167.

Some employees also have given notice that they are leaving the home, Snider said.

At Thursday's meeting, board members approved the rezoning of the 37-acre Willow Creek Farm property, northeast of Urbana in Somer Township, from AG-1 to AG-2 for use as a special events center.

Neighbors oppose the rezoning, Bobbie Johnson and Ken Johnson told the board, but the Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this month recommended approval of the request by a vote of 5-1.

Owners Victor Fuentes and Traci Lipps already operate the property as an indoor recreational development and outdoor commercial recreational enterprise on a limited, infrequent basis, said county Zoning Administrator John Hall.

Under the business' special-use permit, it would operate with a number of restrictions, including a limit of crowds to fewer than 150.

The rezoning, which needed 17 votes to pass, was approved 18-1 with only Champaign Democrat Pattsi Petrie voting no.

Also Thursday, Republican Brooks Marsh of Mahomet was seated to replace John Jay as the board member in County Board District 1, generally the northwest quadrant of the county. Marsh, 58, is the owner of the Mahomet IGA.

The board also approved a resolution honoring Jay, also of Mahomet, for his tenure on the board from 2002 to February 2017.

And Sen. Chapin Rose, R-Mahomet, presented Jay's wife Sunny with a resolution approved by the state Senate.

The board also honored the late Lloyd Carter, an Urbana Democrat, who died earlier this month at the age of 86. Mr. Carter had served on the board from 1992 to 2016.

Absent from the meeting were board members Chris Alix of Urbana and Jon Rector of rural Champaign.

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EdRyan wrote on April 21, 2017 at 8:04 am

Better move on that nursing home while you still have something to sell.