Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Safe Haven seeks annexation into Bellevue

Eldercare facility planned to house 80 people

Express Staff Writer

The city of Bellevue could soon be home to an 80-bed skilled-nursing and assisted-living facility if the City Council grants annexation of 9.5 acres on the north end of town to Safe Haven Health Care.

"If we can't annex into the city, the parcel would not be suitable for our project," said CEO of Safe Haven Scott Burpee in an interview.

He said the facility would be built on a 30-acre parcel that belongs to the Catholic Church. He said the property is under contract for sale to Safe Haven, contingent on the annexation approval.

Burpee said that on Thursday, July 19, he will present to the city his plans for a 48,000-square-foot facility that he hopes to build on the 30 acres. He said annexation is required because the proposed new building straddles the boundary between the city and county, and that the facility would require access to the city's water, sewer and fire protection services.

The building would include a 10-bed secured dementia unit, 16 private skilled-nursing units, 24 semi-private skilled-nursing units and 30 units of assisted living.

Assisted-living services at the facility would include several studio apartments for low-income seniors as well as more spacious units.

The facility would accept both Medicare and Medicaid patients as well as private pay, with no set ratio setting a minimum number of private-pay patients.

"It will be a plus to the city, adding 150 to 175 new jobs," Burpee said.

He said Safe Haven employs 500 people statewide at 10 assisted-living facilities, one skilled-nursing facility and one psychiatric hospital in Pocatello.

Safe Haven already operates a 10-bed assisted-living facility seven blocks from the proposed new building. Burpee said the company also operates a personal home-care services business with 200 clients statewide.

Burpee said he conducted a study in the Wood River Valley and found that seniors were underserved compared to other towns of similar size.

"Sandpoint, with a population of 8,000, similar to Hailey, has one 74-bed facility and one 110-bed facility. We have only one 25-bed facility in the Wood River Valley," he said. "Many people go to Twin Falls for senior services and stay there."

The Planning and Zoning Commission will be the first to review the annexation request on Thursday, July 19, at 6 p.m. in City Hall.

Tony Evans:

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