Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 2001

County to negotiate for infirmary operation

Kansas City firm wants to take over nursing home

October 3, 2001

Leavenworth County commissioners on Thursday will begin negotiations with a Kansas City area firm that wants to take over operation of the county infirmary.

At 9:30 a.m. Thursday, commissioners will meet with Jeff Phillips of Citadel Holding company of Kansas City. That firm operates several nursing homes, including one in St. Joseph, Mo.

"This is a group that gave us a proposal, and we're discussing that proposal on operation of management of the home," said Don Navinsky, chairman of the county commission.

In July, commissioners agreed to seek proposals from companies to operate and manage Broadway Heights, the county nursing home. The home recently has been a financial drain on the county, and commissioners have approved transfers of thousands of dollars from the general fund to the infirmary to keep it afloat.

Navinsky said working out details for a private company's operation of the home will take time. Among those negotiations points will be Citadel's plans to construct a new building on county-owned land adjacent to the infirmary. The company, Navinsky said, plans to seek an Industrial Revenue Bond issue to finance construction of a new building.

In addition, the company has said it wants upgrades in the existing building, he said.

"We need to iron that all out," Navinsky said.

Also of concern are meals that are prepared in the kitchen of the county home and then transported to Leavenworth Council on Aging meal sites and to the county jail and juvenile detention center.

"We're looking for somebody to provide those meals," Navinsky said. "There are several issues there."

Although commissioners may not reach agreement on all issues Thursday morning, Navinsky is hopeful they can make progress on the issue.

"I don't know what Thursday is going to bring," he said. "Each commissioner has certain points they want to make sure goes in. This is a private firm, so those issues have to be worked out and we'll see where we can come to agreement plus a time frame."

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