Hubbard County moves forward with finding Heritage manager
Hubbard County Jeff Cadwell said the request for proposals will be let by April 25. Bid opening will be June 6, with the RFP awarded by June 20.
A draft request for proposal (RFP) for management services of the Heritage Living Center is about 80% prepared, according to Hubbard County Administrator Jeff Cadwell.
Effective Sept. 28, Ecumen Services Inc. will terminate its management agreement with the county-owned facility.
The RFP includes operating expenses for the past two to three years, Cadwell told county commissioners at their Tuesday, April 18 meeting.
Cadwell said the RFP will be let by April 25. Bid opening will be June 6, with the RFP awarded by June 20. The target start date of a new management firm is Aug. 1 to allow transition time, he continued.
Board chair Tom Krueger noted that payroll, accounting and even human resources services can be contracted out to independent companies.
“Yes, there are a lot of those items,” Cadwell said, adding the RFP lays out the scope of management.
County commissioner David De La Hunt noted that any independent company would need to be knowledgeable about nursing homes.
“All kinds of reporting due at the federal level,” agreed county commissioner Char Christenson.
Cadwell is currently working with Stephanie Fairchild, executive director of the Heritage campus, “to identify what it would take to operate the facility if we didn’t have a parent management company. It would likely take a little more administrative support than it currently does, but then you wouldn’t have management fees.”
Cadwell said that scenario should be considered and analyzed.
Krueger asked how much the county pays to Ecumen.
“It’s not significant,” Cadwell replied, saying the fee is about $27,000 per month but other additional costs make it between $45,000 and $50,000. Fairfield’s salary is paid on top of the management fee. “The whole facility pays the operational costs, and then we’re on the hook for operational losses. I can’t really give you a number, but it’s really complicated. The actual management fee is the least of the amount.”
Cadwell assured the Hubbard County Board that Ecumen “won’t walk out the door without making sure there is a transition plan.”
County assessor retires
Hubbard County Assessor Jamie Freeman has retired.
“For her own reason, she submitted her note of resignation for retirement purposes last week,” Cadwell said.
Freeman was hired in April 2021 and retired on April 26, 2023.
The assistant county assessor, Maria Shepherd, will serve in Freeman’s place.