Manistee County Medical Care Facility Proposes Bond For Upgrades
Manistee County voters will decide whether to approve a $24 million bond for upgrades and an addition to the 60 years-old Manistee County Medical Care Facility.
The project includes a new, two-story, 32,000 sq. ft. addition; renovations of the current buildings to provide 74 private and 13 semi-private rooms; upgraded heating and cooling systems; a new elevator; furniture and equipment; site improvements and professional services. The final concept allows for V-shape in the end corridors so staff can easily see patients.
The nursing home has been planning the project since 2019, but COVID put a halt on the plans. The new plans would allow for more private rooms and a memory care unit.
“We need more space in the building,” says Joe Coleman, Administrator for the facility. “We need more private rooms. That’s what consumers are expecting these days. And we still have four bed wards here.”
Meanwhile, the nursing home is experiencing a loss in revenue. There haven’t been any new admissions for several months.
“We don’t want a building full of people we can’t take care of, so we want to make sure that everybody here is taken care of and that we have enough help for that,” Coleman says. “We’re looking to the future. We’re hoping that the staffing situation right now is a temporary problem and not something that’s going to go on for years and years.”
Though the local population is aging which means a future surge in potential patients.
“We’re trying to get ready for them. You know, we hope, we hope that a lot of baby boomers will be able to stay in their own homes as they age, but we want to be here for the ones that can’t,” says Coleman.
The cost to taxpayers, outlined in the bond language, is about $0.34 per $1,000 in taxable property value, for the first year. After, it is estimated at $1.00 per $1,000 until the end of the bond’s life in 20 years. The rounded 0.34 mill is estimated to generate over $400,000 in the first year.
“The feasibility study shows that during normal times, we should be able to pay for the project through operations,” says Coleman.
If it doesn’t pass, the facility will have to downsize.
“We could always try again. I hope that won’t be necessary, ” says Coleman. “Otherwise, I think what we do is look at having a much smaller building, reduce the bed capacity.”