Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Plan for senior-care facility gets green light

Annexation passed; review of detailed plans still pending

Express Staff Writer

The Bellevue City Council voted unanimously Thursday to allow annexation of 9.5 acres of land north of the city for the development of an 85-bed elder care facility.

The 64-room skilled-nursing and assisted-living facility will be built, owned and operated by Safe Haven Health Care, which employs 500 people statewide at 10 assisted-living facilities, one skilled-nursing facility and one psychiatric hospital in Pocatello.

Bellevue already has a 12-bed facility operated by Safe Haven five blocks from the proposed new facility. The new 48,000-square-foot project is expected to be complete in 2015. It would bring an estimated 137 jobs and 80 new employees to Bellevue. 

The City Council deliberated for only 10 minutes before approving the annexation.

“It’s our job to find negatives, but I can’t find any,” said City Council Chair Dave Hattula.

Hattula cited as positives the expected economic boost that could come in the form of jobs, development impact fees, taxes, and water and sewer fees.

Bellevue residents have called for support from city leaders for the new facility, saying the alternative has been transporting loved ones many miles from Bellevue.

“It’s our job to find negatives, but I can’t find any.”
Dave Hattula
Council chair

Safe Haven Health Care CEO Scott Burpee said in an interview that he hopes to break ground for the new building in spring 2013.

“It will be a two-year project,” he said after the meeting.

Preliminary plans for the one-story building include a 10-bed secured dementia unit, 16 private skilled-nursing units, 24 semi-private skilled-nursing units, and 30 units of assisted living. Final plans must still be reviewed by the city.

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.

Burpee said 85 percent of residents at similar Safe Haven facilities in other communities are funded through Medicaid.

Tony Evans:


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