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Care facility stays open-look to a new operator

May 6, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

By John Speer

Central Iowa Press

The Country Living Care Center at rural Toledo will apparently continue to operate, at least for the time being. In what is something of a 'fluid' situation, that was the word an hour after it was announced Thursday the Country Living Board overseeing the operation would terminate its lease at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 2.

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Fears the care facility would close and concerns about placement of the 32 current residents and loss of jobs for employees surfaced last week.

No details were revealed, but a reference to "financial problems" at Country Living Care was made in a discussion before the Tama County Board of Supervisors meeting in special session at noon Thursday. Country Living Care leases the former Tama County Home north of Toledo for one dollar annually and then runs it as a non-profit organization.

Tama County Supervisors were set Thursday to have the county operate the facility under a temporary state license until June 28. During that time, Todd Rickert, Tama County Central Point of Coordination executive director, was to supervise the operation.

During the noon meeting on Thursday at which that plan was discussed, another special meeting of the board of supervisors was set for Friday (May 1) at 1 p.m. But that meeting was subsequently cancelled when a new circumstance unfolded.

Following the Thursday supervisor meeting a telephone call to the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals resulted in reversing the planned course and keeping the care facility operating under the present Country Living Board was decided upon.

Rickert and the CPC Office will be involved in the management during the transisition period.

On hand for the Thursday meeting was Terry Johnson, chief executive officer for Genesis Development, headquartered in Jefferson. His organization would consider leasing Country Living Care under a similar arrangement as Country Living Care operated, he told supervisors.

Genesis operates various human services facilities in eight Iowa cities including Belle Plaine and Vinton.

The center has a total of 12 employees right now according to Todd Rickert, Tama County Central Point of Coordination director. There were up to 17 employed at the care facility until recently, he said.

Country Livivng Care Center Board members are Gary Mattson, Michelle Allen, Dick Baker and Doug Shepard.



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