Boots & Sabers

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1100, 15 Apr 23

County to Sell Samaritan Campus

Tough choice.

WASHINGTON COUNTY — The Washington County Board of Supervisors voted 13-8 to authorize Washington County to sell Samaritan Campus during their meeting in the Herbert J. Tennies Government Center on Wednesday night.




According to the Ad Hoc committee’s recommendation, their first choice was to renovate Samaritan, the second choice was to replace Samaritan with a new facility, the third choice was to sell Samaritan and the fourth ranked choice was to close (closing was not an option put before the board on Wednesday night).


Carroll presented updated cash flow, income and nursing bed demand projections with the board after Roback’s presentation.


According to Carroll, the cash flow projections from Wipfli showed Samaritan Campus operating with a positive cash flow balance at a projected average of about $670,000 per year over five years.


The bedding analysis showed that with Samaritan Campus operating at 48 skilled nursing facility (SNF) beds, which it would if renovation by the county had been approved, the county would be under-bedded, when combining all SNFs in the county, in 5 to 10 years due to increases in the 74-85-year-old population (a 9.9% increase) and 85 and up population (a 31.6% increase) in the county over that time, showing an increase in demand for nursing beds is coming. At the current SNF bed number for Samaritan, which is 131, the county would be over-bedded by about 50 beds in 5 to 10 years, according to Wipfli.


Whoever purchases the bed licenses for Samaritan from Washington County will have the option to continue to purchase all 131 licensed beds.




“The reason [I am voting in favor of selling Samaritan] is because I do believe it will take care of everyone [at Samaritan,]” said Kelling. “You are our obligation, we are here for you and we will take care of you. I don’t like when people have been using scare tactics against you saying that you will end up in the street. Legally that is not possible, and morally I would not stand for it.”

I wrote a few months ago about how intolerable it is that this decision has been put off for so long. We’ve known about the issues at Samaritan for years and the County Board has been kicking the can down the road. I’m glad that they have made a decision.

For the decision itself, I think it is the right one. Taxpayers can continue to fund the residents’ care without having to own and operate the means of providing that care. While renovating the campus would have been a fix for the next few years, the taxpayers would still own a facility that will need ongoing maintenance and care down the road. I’d much prefer that taxpayers’ dollars be focused on resident care instead of maintaining facilities.

I do think that the supervisors approached the issue with compassion. There were no easy or perfect choices, but they had to do something. Some direction is better than no direction.

Now they just have to find a buyer…


1100, 15 April 2023

1 Comment

  1. Mar

    That will cost about 100 county jobs as well

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