by Larry Patrick
WALSENBURG- The Walsenburg Care Center is stuck in a very old facility with owners of it wanting to build a new facility, preferably in Walsenburg. At the monthly meeting of the County Commissioners, City of Walsenburg and Town of La Veta, (CCT), on Monday, it was made clear that owners of the nursing home are growing impatient with the City of Walsenburg in securing land near the hospital to build a new facility.
Bob Grabowski, the new manager of Walsenburg Care Center told the CCT gathering that his bosses need to see some movement by the end of this month on getting 4-5 acres of land near the hospital or they may seek other venues. Grabowski says owners want to build a new nursing home and assisted care center in Walsenburg but are willing to go elsewhere if necessary. They want a new facility up and running in 18-24 months.
The City of Walsenburg has been concerned about taking over the Youth Camp buildings, owned by the State of Colorado, that are on leased land, owned by the City, near the hospital. They haven’t wanted to take on buildings without a long-term renter. To do so could cost city taxpayers big money on maintenance upkeep for empty facilities. Now, local officials are talking about working out an agreement with the State of Colorado to get just 4-5 acres of leased land back, if they can, to pave the way for a new nursing home facility.
Owners of the Walsenburg Care Center don’t want to sink more money into an antiquated facility when they can put it into a new structure. The Walsenburg Care Center is currently losing money operating from the old facility. The current idea by Walsenburg Care Center is to trade the current facility on W. 7th Street for the acreage near the hospital. The City of Walsenburg could then clear the land for some other usage.
All sides agreed to work hard in the next few weeks to come up with a solution to the problems. Everyone is on the same side it is just getting the land secured from the State of Colorado to make things happen. No one wants to lose additional jobs by not finding a solution to keeping the nursing home in Walsenburg.