Board approves sale of county-owned nursing center

Updated 10/10/2018 9:41 AM

WATERLOO, Iowa -- Black Hawk County supervisors have approved a deal to sell the county's nursing and mental health care center, which has struggled financially in recent years.

The board voted 4-1 Tuesday to sell Country View to Pritok Capital, which is based in Skokie, Illinois, and operates nursing homes in several states. The closing is scheduled to occur on or before Dec. 31.

The decision to seek purchase bids came after the county was forced to subsidize Country View with $1.5 million from the general fund this year and budget for a $2 million operating deficit next year.

The final sale price of $4 million is well below the $5.6 million Pritok initially bid. Eric Johnson, an attorney negotiating the deal for the county, told supervisors that Pritok originally sought a larger reduction after a state of Iowa decision to cut the amount it would reimburse Country View. That essentially devalued the property after the initial bid.

Mark Myers, a broker representing the county, urged the board to accept the final offer rather than "go back out to market and see what else is out there."

"But we're just afraid that might bring worse results with these lower reimbursement rates and lower occupancy," Myers said.

Supervisor Linda Laylin said the sale was the best way to ensure Country View stays open and the residents remain.

Laylin and Supervisors Craig White and Frank Magsamen also said Pritok was hoping to hire most of Country View's employees when they are laid off by the county the day the sale is completed.

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