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Archive for Sunday, March 29, 1992

COUNTY, BOARD TO DISCUSS STATUS OF VALLEY VIEW

March 29, 1992

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The Douglas County Commission and the board of directors for Valley View Care Home will discuss the shape of the care home's future Monday in a study session.

The session is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. in the county commission meeting room at the county courthouse, 11th and Massachusetts.

Tom Anderson, Valley View board chairman, said the board would discuss the care home's feasibility study with the commission. He would not elaborate on what the board recommended for Valley View but said the care home faced several options.

"We're not looking at closing it," Anderson said. "What we're looking at is various options to maintain the facility with ongoing regulatory changes without a major investment, all the way up to building a new unit."

AGE APPARENTLY has caught up with Valley View. Anderson said the building was constructed in the late 1950s or early 1960s and "just about everything" needs work to meet changing federal and state standards. The list of needed improvements includes electrical standards, a sprinkler system and building codes, he said.

"Primarily because of the age of the facility, we have to do something in the near future to meet upcoming standards," Anderson said. If Valley View changed to a shorter-term care home, Anderson said, it would not face as stringent regulations as it does as a long-term care provider. Shorter-term options for Valley View could be a day-care center for the elderly or possible overnight care on a limited basis, he said.

"That's something lacking in Lawrence and Douglas County," Anderson said.

SHOULD VALLEY View remain a longer-term care home, he said it would "almost be prudent to build a new one."

Anderson said whatever decision ultimately is reached by the county commission and board would take two or three years to implement.

"It does not just happen you can't walk into it," he said. "We have to make sure the residents there now are taken care of in an appropriate manner."

Currently, 59 people live at Valley View. Anderson said that number was near-capacity for the care home.

Valley View's board has controlled the county-owned care home since Jan. 1, 1990. Valley View received $476,000 in county funds in 1991 but did not require any county funding for 1992.

In December, the board presented the commission with a market feasibility study for Valley View. The report listed four options: maintaining current operations; extensively refurbishing the care home; building a new care home and keeping the county as a partner; or building a new care home and revamping the management and personnel as a private operation.

THE BOARD also offered two of its own ideas to the commission: management by an outside company and the possibility of building a new care home as a joint venture separate from the county on either a for-profit or a not-for-profit basis.

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