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Weatherwood bids narrowed to six

Published March 16. 2010 05:00PM

Weatherwood, the Carbon County Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center, will soon be a privately-owned nursing home.

Commissioner William O'Gurek, chairman, said on Monday that a total of six bids for the nursing home, located in Weatherly, were received during the final round of bidding, which closed at 5 p.m., Friday.

All bids, O'Gurek noted, were above the $8 million minimum requirement.

"We're pretty excited about the bids," he said.

The county, with the assistance of its real estate broker, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services of Philadelphia, reviewed the initial 11 bids received in February and invited six companies that met a certain criteria to submit final bids.

"What we've been told by Marcus & Millichap is that the companies we narrowed it down to have a lot of strengths and know what we're looking for (in a buyer)," O'Gurek said. "I think one thing that they said to us was they are very good companies."

He added that some of the bidders have experience with privatizing nursing homes in Pennsylvania.

"There are some bidders that took over other counties' nursing homes and we're curious how they performed in the other counties," O'Gurek said. "We're going to ask our people to see how these companies performed."

The next step will be to evaluate the final bids and determine which company will best meet the needs of Weatherwood's residents and its employees.

O'Gurek noted that the county and Marcus & Millichap will look at a number of items when reviewing the bids, including the company's performance in the industry; the bidder's experience and reputation in the nursing home field; knowledge of the services provided at the home; and the strength of the company's financing.

Once all bids are evaluated, the company that the county feels will best handle Weatherwood will be awarded the sale.

A final decision is expected to be made by May 31 with the transfer of ownership taking place around July 1.

The sale of Weatherwood has generated a lot of interest in the nursing home world since it was officially put on the market on Jan. 14.

Following the announcement of the sale, 47 interested parties signed confidentiality agreements, which allowed them to access all necessary information, and over a dozen companies opted for tours of the facility.

Carbon County commissioners were forced to make the decision to sell the nursing home after a financial analysis was completed last year. The analysis showed that the home, which is operating on a $3 million deficit, would continue to cost the county millions unless changes were made.

The commissioners have continually stressed that making the decision to sell Weatherwood was not one they wanted to make, but the county could not afford to continue to lose $8,200 a day at the facility.

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