On Monday, they were in front of commissioners asking if the county would be willing sell the 4.51 acres it owns by the hospital.
Mark Uhr, realtor assisting TAG Management in the purchase of the property, said, “They have certain criteria they are looking for—one being proximity to the hospital.”
The acreage the company is hoping the county will sell is at the corner of Galloway and Hillside drives.
“We would like to see if y’all would consider us purchasing the property for our facility,” Uhr said.
Phillip Hopkins, president of TAG Management Services, said that the proposed 90-bed facility will encompass 40,000 square feet.
“We are a small company. We only have eight, about to have nine, facilities,” he said. “All of our homes are in rural Texas. We like it that way. We do business better in the rural counties.
“We move slow. We take our time and do it right.”
It was two years ago that the owners and management of the company appeared before the court.
At that time, they were asking them to approve the addition of Medicare beds into the allotment allocated to nursing home facilities in Bee.
Commissioners had to jump through a few hoops because the state has a moratorium on the number of nursing home beds available for Medicaid patients in each county.
According to Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), which handles this distribution, the purpose of the bed allocation rules and policies is to improve the quality of resident care by selecting and limiting the allocation of Medicaid beds, to promote competition and to control the number of Medicaid beds for which DADS contracts. The number of Medicaid beds in a facility can be increased only through waivers and exemptions.
The court granted 60 beds; however, there is a time element here, and the company is running out of it before they must begin construction or possibly lose the allocated beds.
The new facility, when built, would mean 100 new jobs in the county and a payroll of $2.25 million.
However, there is still the question of where it should go.
Commissioner Dennis DeWitt questioned why none of the other properties at which the company had looked previously was suitable.
One parcel, Uhr said, would have been a drainage nightmare.
“You would have to come in, and you have to put a retaining wall at the top of the property where the top of the wall would be at the rooftops of the neighboring homes,” he said.
Other pieces of land were just too far from the hospital, including one in the Country Club area.
“We passed on that. We like to stay close to the hospital,” Hopkins said.
The men all agreed that proximity to the medical facility was key—which is likely part of the reason Woodridge Nursing and Rehabilitation is located where it is.
DeWitt reminded his fellow commissioners that while location is important to the company, it is also important to the county.
“Looking at it from the county’s standpoint, that is our last undeveloped parcel next to the County Road and Bridge Department and next to our jail that could be used by the county for future expansion.”
Commissioner Ken Haggard added, “This is probably the largest piece for any future expansion for the county to build a facility of any size.
“If you look further down the road for our expansion, we will have to be looking for property. Other than this, all we own are small pieces here and there.”
Commissioner Eloy Rodriguez reminded those present that no decisions could be made.
All of this would need to be discussed, and a property appraisal done before they could proceed.
“Personally, I see a lot of benefit with the tax dollars coming in and the new employment opportunities, plus an extra nursing facility,” Rodriguez said.
Haggard said, “I agree with both commissioners. But it is one of those we are going to have to weigh in on.”
Jason Collins is the editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 121, or at editor@mySouTex.com.