Friday, March 23, 2007

County sets election to sell Blaine Manor

Express Staff Writer

A special election has been set for Tuesday, May 22, to seek voter approval for the sale of Blaine Manor and the transfer of responsibility for running a county nursing home to a private foundation, which would build and operate a new $20 million facility in Croy Canyon, west of Hailey.

The Blaine County Commission approved a resolution setting the election during a meeting on Tuesday, March 20. State law requires the sale of county-owned hospitals to be approved by a majority of county voters.

Blaine Manor, located at 706 South Main St. in Hailey, has long been a drain on county funds. This year, the county is spending $2.3 million to subsidize the 25-bed facility's operation.

The county has estimated the value of the building at $6 million, all of which would be transferred upon its sale to the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation toward construction of a new facility. The foundation already owns a 20-acre parcel in Croy Canyon.

"I feel that Croy Canyon Foundation has put together an outstanding team of experts who will make the new facility a model for the county on senior care," Commissioner Sarah Michael said during an interview this winter.

Polls will be open for the election from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Absentee voting also will be permitted.

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