Business, City of Seward, Economics, Health

Information on the Long-Term Care Facility Site

By: City Manager Phillip Oates

Why is the City of Seward considering a different site for the Long Term Care Facility? A number of factors made it prudent to reconsider the original decision. At the site adjacent to Japp Creek, results of the October 2006 flood generated new requirements that increased the time and costs of building a LTC facility in that location. After the flood, the City was told it needed federal certification of the levee or elevation of the site above the flood plain and add armor rock protection to construct the facility in the Japp Creek area. Levee certification was not feasible. That was because of federal reluctance to certify levees as a result of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans. Elevating the site above the flood plain and armoring required a total redesign of the utility infrastructure for each of the five buildings. That would have significantly increased the time and cost to complete the project.

Other factors also became known at the beginning of the reconsideration of sites: (1) only eight acres were needed for the site because it was learned that the facility did not require collocation with a hospital; (2) the revenue bonds that had been approved were not site specific; and, (3) the purchase agreement with the owner of the original site had expired. As a result of these considerations, and consideration of the flood impact, four sites were identified for comparison. These sites were compared in terms of safety, suitability, time, and cost. The site adjacent to the Middle School was found superior to all other sites in each of these categories. Although the price per acre of the site was higher than the other sites, the cost to complete the project at that site was less expensive. It was easy to conclude that the City was getting the best site for the lowest overall cost.



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