By Dennis Minich
It was announced Tuesday morning that the Adrian Manor Nursing Home and Crystal Manor assisted care facilities will close on Jan. 31. The Adrian Board of Aldermen, during its monthly meeting Monday night, was told by the facilities’ administrator, Sheila Wackerman, there is no money to keep them open.
“We are struggling. We don’t have the people. We don’t have the staff. And unless you can give me a way to fund it, I recommend we close at the end of the second pay period of the month, which is Jan. 23,” Wackerman said.
Wackerman said, “We currently have 24 residents, all but two of them have COVID. People are sick, we can’t cut back on staffing and there is simply no money left.”
She provided the board with a financial summary, including the heavy deficits which the facilities have incurred since July. The facilities showed profits in three months, August, November and December, for a combined total of about $190,000. However, the losses were $38,000 in July, $77.8 thousand in September, $26.5 thousand in October and the losses are projected at $175,223.48 in January.
Wackerman said under normal circumstances, it takes a census of at least 43 residents to break even. She said they were on a path to maybe come back until Dec. 9, when the first case of COVID-19 was reported at Adrian Manor.
“It started Dec. 9 and has been a nightmare since then,” Wackerman said.
Money is only part of the problem facing Wackerman. She told the board her director of nursing has resigned effective Jan. 25.
The decision to close the facilities came Tuesday morning at the same time she talked with state regulators to see if a waiver was possible to allow an LPN to serve as the director until an RN could be recruited.
She noted the waiver would mean nothing if they can’t find the money to keep the doors open.
Alderman Sue Miller said as difficult as the decision is, the board’s hands are tied.
“There’s no way the city can finance them,” she said.
There apparently is a buyer interested in some or all of the facilities, but Wackerman said even with a quick deed, it would likely take at least six months to complete a deal.
She said with the facilities operating, the sale could bring in somewhere between $1.5 and $1.8 million. If the facilities are closed, the purchase price would likely be about half that amount.
The board discussed various options including attempting to sell Crystal Manor to keep Adrian Manor going, Chapter 11 bankruptcy or find an investor.
It was agreed the chances of any of those options working were thin. Wackerman said she needed $201,000 just to make January’s payroll.
“We know it’s the 11th hour and its tough, but we have to explore all of the options. We know we are grasping at straws so we need to try and grasp as many as we can,” Alderman Jeff Vick said.
Wackerman said she had been in contact with Crown Care Center in Harrisonville as well as a nursing home in Butler, both of which would be willing to take Adrian Manor’s residents and staff. The facility was founded in 1976 and became a landmark in Adrian through its 45 years
of operation. It was reported throughout the meeting that the facilities would close on or around Jan. 23, but it has been confirmed that operations will continue through the end of the month.
Earlier in the meeting, the board was briefed by Fire Chief Gary Dizney about the explosion at the grain elevator and the subsequent fire at the storage facility.
He said there were some rumors circulating that poisonous gas had been released and threatened the residents of Adrian. He said that is untrue. The products burning in the fire were corn and soybeans.
“The city was never in harm’s way,” Dizney said.
The owner of the facility is working to remove any remaining grain reserves, but Dizney cautioned there was still a fire hazard and the building’s structural integrity has been severely damaged.
The board also agreed to purchase a new police vehicle, a 2021 Chevy Tahoe, through a state bid. The police department has $20,000 to put down and will receive a $6,500 trade-in on a 2013 Tahoe with more than 100,000 miles.
The remainder of the purchase price, about $20,000 will be financed through Adrian Bank at 3.5 percent interest.
In other action, the board:
• Approved a $7,386 purchase of a pump for the water plant.
• Approved a $1,315 expenditure for an accounting software program.
• Approved $622 for new tires for a police vehicle.
• Approved $568 for dues to the Missouri Municipal League.
• Approved $385 for a maintenance agreement for the city hall copy machine.
• Approved emergency funds of $1,400 for repairs to the city’s tornado siren system.