Bedding on loans: Sale of beds at Acres could pay back loan

A plan to sell the rights to 40 beds could give Auglaize Acres the money needed to pay back the county for money borrowed several years ago.

That’s the hope, said Acres Administrator Connie Pierce, who would at least like to pay a portion of the money owed if proceeds from the sale are not enough to pay it all.

While the money was borrowed before her time at the facility, paying off the outstanding loan to the county’s general fund is a goal of hers. To date, more than $200,000 is left to be paid from the original $500,000 borrowed to help the county nursing home stay afloat during financial troubles under former administrators.

Any additional funds which might remain after the sale of the beds would be used to start a Capital Improvement Fund for the Auglaize Acres, said Pierce, who also plans to add money previously allocated for repayment of the loan to the Acres’ new Capital Improvement Fund.

“We have nothing like that now,” Pierce said. “We have nothing for needed repairs, nothing to use if a boiler goes down.”

She said Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, which have been used in the past are drying up, although they are hoping to be able to take advantage of them before the funds are gone. They hope to use CDBG grants for $100,000 in repairs needed to be made on a flat-roofed portion of the facility built in 1976.

“That’s one of our major needs right now,” Pierce said.

Unfortunately for now, Pierce said they don’t know how much selling the rights to the beds could bring in to the facility.

“It depends on who is interested and what they need,” Pierce said. “If we don’t sell them between now and July 31, we will have to wait for another open period.”

State regulations dictate the facility might have to wait another four years before even trying to sell the beds again. A state analysis looks at each county’s projected bed needs and excess based on census numbers, population numbers and projected populations during the next four years, and the sale is for rights to the 40 beds, rather than actual physical beds.

Such bed rights would be needed as new facilities are built or additions are made to existing facilities.

The most recent results of such an analysis showed  Auglaize County was overbedded by 170 so it could sell bed rights to other facilities, but not to other facilities within the county or in surrounding counties.

“Several counties in the state are underbedded but the beds can’t be sold unless its an open period,” Pierce said.

Pierce recently recommended the sale of the rights to the seven certified beds that could no longer be used due to square footage requirements and 33 non-certified beds still on the books to the Auglaize County commissioners. The Acres has since begun to work with brokers  from Columbus-based, Equity Inc., for the sale, agreeing to pay the firm 5 percent of the gross sales price.

Selling the beds would reduce the Acres bed count to 91 dual-certified beds but based on the past four years of census numbers, Pierce said she felt that was a good number to have.

In recent years, the Acres census has averaged between 85 and 86 and has never been more than 91.

“We aren’t anticipating a great need for these beds, plus it will provide the flexibility in how we use the space,” Pierce said.

She said the beds have been decertified since 2005 and would never be utilized by the county again.