The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

February 26, 2013

County close to hiring firm

Works toward possible sale of Manor

DANVILLE — Plans to look for a new owner for Vermilion County’s long-time nursing home are continuing to move forward.

Voters passed a referendum in November giving the county the authority to sell the county-owned nursing home.

Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard said county officials are in the final stages of negotiating with a brokerage firm to represent the nursing home as officials go through the process of looking for a new owner.

According to Weinard, there appears to be an active market for this kind of facility. He noted a facility was purchased in Champaign County just in December.

“Lets face it, there’s a lot of baby boomers that are looking for a place to spend some time,” he said. “There’s a pretty solid market for independent living, assisted living and nursing home care.”

He added that Vermilion Manor only provides nursing home care with its 237 beds.

The future of the nursing home — which has been open since the early 1970s — is contingent upon finding an interested buyer, Weinard said.

“The only way we see keeping the nursing home is if we find someone that will be willing to be a private owner and operate it as a private nursing home,” he said.

County officials are putting together a package of information so a potential new owner will have a history and background of what the facility has seen in its 40 years of operation.

As of Friday, there were no offers on the table for the nursing home.

“We want to be flexible,” Weinard said. “We want to make sure that we have someone that is going to be a long-term player with a track record of being successful. Someone who knows the business and is interested in staying in the business and can continue things in a way that benefit Vermilion County.”

He added the county is “going to do everything we can so that the current staff stays in place.”

While the county is moving on to secure a future for the nursing home, one of the problems that prompted the idea of selling the facility remains consistent. The State of Illinois, Weinard said, remains delinquent on its Medicare payments to the county with the total sitting at more than $1 million.

A little less than 50 percent of Vermilion Manor’s income comes from state payments. At one point the state’s delinquent payments topped $2 million.

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