GOSHEN COUNTY – Torrington’s proposed new assisted living facility is $3 million closer to its goal. Thursday, the Wyoming Business Council Board of Directors approved a request from the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board for a Business Ready Community grant to aid in constructing a 23,980 square-foot, 30-unit facility on a three-acre site in Torrington.
The project will total approximately $7 million and provide 15 or more jobs through Welcov Healthcare, LLC, which will operate and maintain the facility. Welcov currently operates the Goshen Healthcare Community and Evergreen Court Living Centers.
The Wyoming Business Council board is required by statute to forward Business Ready Community grant and loan recommendations to the State Loan and Investment Board for final approval. The SLIB is comprised of the five statewide elected officials: the governor, secretary of state, state auditor, state treasurer and state superintendent of public instruction.
The SLIB will make final decisions on Business Ready Community project requests at its 8 a.m. meeting
on Oct. 4.
If it receives final approval, the assisted living facility is expected to break ground next summer, with plans to open its doors in 2020.
“This is a perfect example of a joint collaboration where all parties stepped up to the table,” Goshen County Economic Development CEO and Executive Director Ashley Harpstreith said. The City of Torrington donated the land, the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board supplied countless volunteer hours, GCEDC helped write the grant, and Welcov Healthcare, LLC stepped in as a business partner, to name a few. “The jobs are exciting,” Harpstreith said. “There are 15-plus jobs coming with this, which is perfect timing as Eastern Wyoming College announces its ADN (associate’s degree in nursing) program.”
“Healthcare is the No. 1 employer in this county,” she continued. “This is a huge win for our economy – to add more jobs and opportunities in this sector. Most importantly, it’s going to benefit all the residents of this county: one, for new (assisted living facility) residents … and two, for caregivers of these residents,” Harpstreith said. “It’s an all- around win. Everybody is a winner in this deal.”
Harpstreith went on to say several local banks joined together to offer a loan for $3 million for the facility.
“It was a major collaboration to have the local banks step up and assist,” she said. “It is a testament to how awesome our community players are.”
There are several benefits to the project, according to official documentation on the Wyoming Business Council website.
“The expanded level of care for seniors will promote a continuum of care which will complement the independent living with assistance at the adjacent Evergreen Court, and skilled nursing and memory care at the Goshen Healthcare Center,” it reads. “Project Goals and Public Benefits: job creation, 15 (full-time employees); affordable housing options for seniors; potential for single-family homes for workforce housing vacated by seniors; project supports a population of up to 37 senior residents; $64,834 per person per year savings to the Wyoming Medicaid program: In a year’s time Welcov admits approximately 120 people to the Goshen Care Center, a skilled nursing facility (SNF). Estimating that 75 percent (or 90 residents) will require Medicaid, that is a cost of $5,814,450 to the State of Wyoming. At least five residents could have been placed in an assisted living facility (AL) which would have opened up SNF beds for higher need
residents. For every year that a resident remains in assisted living versus skilled nursing facility, the resident saves $40,150. With the resident spenddown of personal savings in AL, it lessens the burden on the pending liability to the state which equates to $64,834 per person per year to the Wyoming Medicaid program; the project supports $325,701 in property and sales tax to Torrington each year; nearly $3.8 million of capital investment (private financing of $3 million - $868,320 cash-match by the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board); $732k in private financing back to Wyoming Business Council for
pay-off of Business Ready Community loan for the Goshen Care Center project.”
Paul Novak, chair of the Goshen Care Center Joint Powers Board, told the Telegram there’s plenty of excitement surrounding the project.
“We’re really excited we got the grant,” he said. “We’re really looking forward to the next phase, and really looking forward to adding to the healthcare services in Goshen County. Thank you for all the support from the community and all the groups that showed up for the meeting.”