The Hubbard County Board hired OHC Advisors of Miami, Fla. to appraise the Heritage Living Campus.

County commissioners listened to two proposals during their Tuesday, April 6 meeting. The other firm was Shenehon Company of Minneapolis.

At their February meeting, the board agreed that completing an appraisal of the county-owned nursing facility is the first step in a long process of deliberation. After data gathering, they plan to decide whether to refinance or divest the business in late summer or early fall.

“These are unique properties, so it was clear that local appraisal firms were probably not going to be able to do the work, although we invited them into the process,” said Interim County Administrator Kay Mack on Tuesday.

Mack explained that a subcommittee of the board reviewed all submitted requests for qualifications (RFQ) from appraisal firms, narrowing it down to two for the whole county board to interview.

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Michael Baldwin, CEO of OHC, said his firm will provide estimated market values of Park Villa Apartments as one property, then Heritage Living Center, Heritage Manor and Heritage Cottages as a separate entity. Together, the campus offers senior apartments, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing.

“We do nothing but senior housing community and health care facility appraisals and market studies, so this truly is our expertise,” Baldwin said. He said his firm has done a lot of work in Minnesota, including holding the state contract for Medicaid rate-setting purposes for all the nursing homes in the state. “That was 200 facilities that we appraised.”

OHC’s professional fee totals $25,000, with a 50 percent retainer required. Their proposal states the assignment will be completed within six weeks.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on senior providers, Baldwin recommended using a specialized appraiser. He said OHC would complete both an “as is” and “upon stabilization” values, “so you will understand what is the property worth today as well as what will it be worth when you go to market, say in a year from now.”

The board unanimously approved OHC’s proposal.

In other business, the board did as follows:

  • Approved the replacement of a zero-turn mower for the Sentence to Serve program, at a cost of $3,627 from the Midwest Machinery Co. of Wadena. County Sheriff Cory Aukes said donations would cover the purchase.

  • Learned that the county social service department received a perfect performance commendation from the Minnesota Department of Human Services for meeting all 2020 financial reporting requirements.