by Bill Knowles
WALSENBURG– A deal in the works between the City of Walsenburg and the Walsenburg Care Center could result in more land for development downtown and a new care facility that will be located next to the Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.
The property being looked at is four acres of the Lathrop Boy’s Ranch that sits adjacent to the hospital and has been assessed at about $2,136 per acre by the Huerfano County Assessor’s office that would bring the value of just the land being considered for development to about $8,500.
“But this doesn’t include the value of the property as a commercial development,” Bruce Quintana, the county’s chief appraiser and Mayor of Walsenburg said. “That amount finds a low end value of about $75,000 an acre.”
The property is located next to the hospital and looks south towards US Highway 160 and Lathrop State Park.
“This is a very good location,” said Bob Brozowski, Walsenburg Care Center Director. “This will put the county’s care facilities, the hospital, the VA facilities, the Health Clinic and the Care Center and Assisted Living operation in the same location.”
The Walsenburg Care Center is located on West 7th Street and is an older building that is surrounded by commercial development. Plans for relocation of the Care Center and Assisted Living facility has been in the works for the last four years. And with the closure of the prison, the county’s largest employer, Care Center administrators are happy the opportunity to build a new facility in Huerfano County is becoming a reality.
“We should be able to retain 50 to 60 jobs at the new facility,” Brozowski said. “97 percent of Care Center employees reside in Walsenburg.”
Cost of a new facility could run between $4 million to $5 million to build. However a time line on a new building has yet to be noted.
Negotiations between the City of Walsenburg and the Care Center are still in progress with many issues still on the table.