Buffalo remains the site for the veterans skilled nursing facility after the Senate passed House Bill 82 on second reading Wednesday, Feb. 13.
A Senate Transportation, Highways and Military Affairs Committee proposal to put the facility in Casper was rejected by the Senate during Monday’s first reading.
Casper Area Economic Development Alliance Vice President of Business Development-Medical and Finance Sabrina Foreman said she expected the Senate’s third reading of the bill to take place on Thursday, Feb. 14. She said it is still up in the air whether new amendments would be made.
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Casper, Buffalo and Sheridan are the three communities that have been most closely considered for the skilled nursing facility. A “Level II” feasibility study conducted by the Wyoming Veterans’ Commission, the Wyoming Department of Health and the State Construction Department included site plan proposals for the three candidate communities.
The Buffalo site plan would add 36 beds between three cottages at the existing Veterans’ Home location in Buffalo. The feasibility study estimated the total cost of the Buffalo project would be $19,929,521.
Were the bill to be amended to place the facility in Casper, the feasibility study team designed a plan for a site at 12th Street and Conwell. The initial facility would include three cottages to accommodate the 36 beds but would have space to expand the campus to offer up to 144 beds. The feasibility study estimated the total cost of the Casper project would be $21,875,056.
Were the bill to be amended to place the facility in Sheridan, the feasibility study team designed a plan near the Green House Living nursing home two miles outside of Sheridan. The initial facility would include 36 beds at three cottages but could be expanded to accommodate up to 60 beds. The feasibility study estimated the total cost of the Sheridan project would be $21,695,691.
The feasibility study includes designs for two types of cottages. The Concept A cottage is a ranch house style design for 12 patients. Concept B would also house 12 individuals but adds in extra safety features due to the high risk for self-harm among patients requiring skilled nursing facility level care. The study says that the designs for the cottages also took into account the special needs of dementia and Alzheimer’s patients.
All three site plans propose building two of the Concept A cottages and one of the more secure Concept B cottages.
Oil City has covered other aspects of the veterans skilled nursing facility bill as it has moved through the Legislature. A Feb. 8 article took a look at other aspects included in the feasibility studies. A Feb. 12 article considered the distinction between assisted living facilities and the more intensive skilled nursing facilities.