Blaine Manor sets sights
Express Staff Writer
As the result of
a local landowner’s generosity, Blaine Manor officials hope to build a new,
larger facility at a new location near Hailey by 2004.
nursing home announced Tuesday that it is negotiating the purchase of a parcel
of land, of at least 10 acres, at a below-market price. Acquisition of the land
is the first step in constructing a 95-bed facility, which, it is hoped, will
finally make Blaine Manor profitable.
Corlett, the home’s director of development, said the name of the parcel’s
owner and its location will remain secret until the deal is finalized. However,
she said the owner is a man with long-time connections to the Wood River Valley
and the land is within a convenient distance of Hailey.
said the purchase is on hold pending completion of an appraisal, which is
expected to take a few weeks.
then begin a campaign to raise part of the approximately $15 million needed to
build the new facility.
In the three
years since its independence from the former Wood River Medical Center, Blaine
Manor has struggled to remain solvent. It received a taxpayer-funded subsidy of
$340,000 from the county last fiscal year, and is expected to require about
$400,000 this year.
A study done last
spring by consultant AMDC, based in Milwaukee, Wis., concluded the facility
would never be profitable at its current size of 25 beds. However, the study
determined that Blaine County’s aging population should support a larger
facility with services ranging from apartments for elderly people who can live
independently to that of a full-service nursing home.
people who’ve helped make our valley such a special place to live must be
allowed to live out their days here, in comfort and in peace, getting the care
they deserve, rather than being relocated to an unfamiliar nursing home that’s
very far from home, with very few visitors," Blaine Manor stated in a press
A new location is
needed since the current site at the south end of Hailey’s Main Street is too
small to allow much expansion. Geiger Corlett said a new facility will also
probably take on a new name, possibly including that of the generous landowner.
negotiations with that person have been under way since summer.
agreed that we’re going to be able to purchase a portion of his land at a very
attractive, below-market price," she said. "It allows us to approach
the project with a much better land budget."
said methods of financing a new facility have not been determined. She said the
next step will be to go back to AMDC for help in developing a building design,
budget and financing plan. Eventually, she said, Blaine Manor officials will
probably seek advice from the Idaho Health Facilities Authority, which issues
tax-exempt revenue bonds. Such bonds are repaid by profits generated by the
facility to which they are issued, not by taxpayers.
said that before that occurs, Blaine Manor will try to raise a few big donations
as "seed money" from local supporters.
"We need a
certain amount of money to have the nerve to go forward," she said.
The new facility
would probably be comprised of 15 independent living units, 40 assisted living
units and 40 nursing suites. It would also have a common room, game room,
exercise physiotherapy room, dining hall, visiting doctors’ offices and
said officials hope to buy a big enough parcel and raise enough money to also
include construction of some affordable housing for employees.