Friday, January 11, 2013

Croy Canyon Ranch lowers bond request

Foundation proposes $18 million funding structure

Express Staff Writer

The Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation has modified an earlier proposal for a $29.2 million general obligation bond to build a senior care facility, telling Blaine County commissioners that it could reduce that bond to $18 million.

Members of the foundation came before the board in a public meeting Monday to outline the changes to its proposal.

The foundation had proposed in June that it would need a $29.2 million general obligation bond to fund a three-tiered senior care facility that would include independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care in a campus setting west of Hailey.

The bond would last 35 years and cover construction costs as well as operational shortfalls at the county’s existing skilled nursing facility, Blaine Manor, until the new facility was completed.

County assets including the Blaine Manor building would stay with the county rather than being transferred to the Croy Canyon Ranch Foundation as was proposed—and approved by voters—in 2007.  

Foundation Director Kathleen Eder said the foundation’s new proposal was developed in response to concerns from the county commissioners about the likelihood of county voters’ supporting a $29.2 million general obligation bond.

Instead, the foundation now proposes using $250,000 of the money it has raised in private donations over the past dozen years to add 16 beds at Blaine Manor—eight assisted living beds and eight for patients needing memory support.

A levy would be brought to county voters in May for $500,000 to fund Blaine Manor’s annual operating shortfall. 

An $18 million general obligation bond would be placed on a county ballot in November or in May 2014 that would fund construction of skilled nursing and assisted living at the Croy Canyon Ranch site. The additional annual tax would be roughly $6.44 per $100,000 of assessed property value.

Commissioner Angenie McCleary said Thursday that she had not received any public comment on the new proposal. She said that might be the result of a suggestion from Blaine County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Tim Graves on Tuesday that the county consider forming a hospital board that could help fund projects such as the Croy Canyon Ranch.

“There are other questions to be asked and answered, and other issues to be considered first,” she said. “[But] at this point, I think that voters care about their tax dollars, so less is always better.” 

Kate Wutz:

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