La Junta Nursing Home Update - LJCC Business Lunch and Talk 3/25/21

Description: The USDA met with the La Junta Health Service District Board Members to conduct a site visit of the new La Junta Nursing Home Project - Bluestem Village. A USDA Representative stated...This is a true definition of a clean slate. A well chosen site.

Published: 03/27/2021
Byline: Hart

La Junta Nursing Home Update - LJCC Business Lunch and Talk

Adela Licano Blue Stem Village SECO News Health District Board Administrative Assistant Adela Licano updated the La Junta Community on the progress of the new La Junta Nursing Home during the La Junta Chamber of Commerce Business Lunch and Talk (BLT) March 25. Julie Worley with the La Junta Chamber of Commerce put together the program content for the first BLT, which included a virtual room full of local community and business leaders from La Junta.

Licano spent about ten minutes presenting the information, which was a recap of the project’s progress from 2020 through today.

Blue Stem Village New La Junta Nursing Home SECO News seconews.orgIn January of last year, H.W. Houston was awarded the contract to be general contractor, Licano said. "In March they came to us and said we could not meet our Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP)." This is the amount that it would cost to build the facility, according to Licano. "I believe they were four or five million over budget. So, the board acted quickly and obtained two other contractors to do the job. The general contractor job was awarded to The Law Company out of Wichita, KS. They came in with a GMP that fit our budget and we are excited to work with them," she said. They also have a good rapport working with our architects (WDM Architects), who are also from Wichita.

In the meantime, they were trying to secure financing with Great Western Bank. In May, due to Covid, it was paused for 90 days, but there were still requirements that needed done such as a market analysis, Licano said.

“We hired Pace Consulting because the city had worked with them in the past and they were able to do the market analysis to show that there was a need for a nursing home in La Junta. Unfortunately, in July Great Western Bank came back to us and let us know that they were not able to assist us because financing fell through, citing and they cited nursing homes as high risk, so they were not financing nursing home projects.

Blue Stem Village New LJ Nursing Home SECO News "We reached out to the USDA and they had a community facility loan that would fit our needs perfectly, so we started the process. With USDA Rural Development there are guidelines that must be followed to secure the financing; one of those was for the board to determine whether the facility would be managed by the board or by a management company," Licano said.

"It was unanimous; the board agreed that we would use a management company. The contract was awarded to Vivage Senior Living out of Lakewood. They currently manage a non-traditional nursing home in Loveland, so they've got the proper training and staffing model," she said.

Environmental Assessment Phase I and Phase II have been completed and a draft has been submitted to the USDA; it is 563 pages so it will take some time to be approved.

Vivage assisted in the preparation of the financial examination of opinion on the five-year fiscal forecast, according to Licano, "It has been submitted to EideBailly and we are waiting to hear back from them so that we can go ahead and submit to USDA."

EideBailly, out of Iowa, was hired because the USDA had recommended they use a third-party CPA to evaluate the five-year financial forecast. Licano said it was a great thing for the nursing home because the five-year financial plan would be implemented from day one.

Blue Stem Village New Nursing Home SECO News Documents that the health service district has been working on to make sure that all the requirements are being met for the USDA include (1) Section 106 of the Historic Preservation Act, which involves  notification to the Tribal Council, which had 30 days to respond. Then the USDA sent a letter that gave an extra 30 days for the Tribal Council to respond due to Covid. The last notice was sent March 5, with a response date April 4. “We haven't had any response and that's a good thing," Licano said.

Also, a public notice seeking comments from the public will be run in the newspapers; the public will have 14 days to give their comments. Licano said the notification of the council and public notification process will take 75 days total.

Next is the (2) Preliminary Architectural Report (PAR), in which the USDA architect reviewed the architectural plan and documents to make sure that all USDA and state requirements were met.

"Next we had to complete a (3) Succession Plan, which included how the Health Service District was created, that we are members of the Special District Association and all documents to comply with DOLA. We also had to include our bylaws and other documents," she explained.

In addition, there is the (4) Traffic Control Assessment: The Health Service District will have to show that the project "will not impact on any other public roadway in the vicinity of the facility."

"The City of La Junta was a great help in assisting us with the documentation." Licano said, "Also, Vivage was able to determine how many vehicles would be coming in and out of the facility. The WDM architects and their engineering department assisted as well and everything was submitted and came back and showed that we are in good shape with that," she said.

"We have been working on the (5) Project Construction Budget for over a year now, which includes the GMP, soft costs, architect fees, permits, assessments, furnished items like furniture, medical equipment, beds, how many bed caps, how many pillows all of this and much more has to be incorporated into the Project Construction Budget," Licano said.

She explained that the furniture contract was awarded to Total Office Solutions with Jessie Klein and a down payment was made to secure the price.

Blue Stem Village New LJ Nursing Home SECO NewsThe USDA met with La Junta Health Service District Board Members to conduct a Site Visit of the new La Junta Nursing Home Project - Bluestem Village. A USDA Representatives stated..."This is a true definition of a clean slate. A well-chosen site."

In conclusion, Licano said, "Once all these documents are approved with the USDA, we are ready to get our shovels in the ground. Our groundbreaking will be soon, and I just ask that you continue following us on Facebook and like our page to continue getting updates."

Blue Stem Village New LJ Nursing Home SECO News

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