Minn. company picked for Eagle senior care project | VailDaily.com

Minn. company picked for Eagle senior care project

EAGLE, Colorado – Eagle County may get a long-term living and care facility for senior citizens, and a Minnesota company may be the company to do it.

After several weeks of presentations, interviews and facility visits, the county’s “continuum of care” committee picked Augustana Care Corporation, based in Minneapolis, to negotiate a deal to build and run a senior care facility on county-owned land on the west end of Eagle. The county will begin negotiations with Augustana later this month.

The decision comes following a process that included a full day of presentations and interviews with four companies that provide senior care. The field was narrowed to three, then two, and Augustana was picked during a Tuesday meeting with committee members and the Eagle County Commissioners.

Augustana is a Lutheran organization that has most of its facilities in Minnesota. On a recent visit, committee members saw the company’s flagship facility in Minnesota as well as a smaller center in a town about the size of Eagle. They were impressed with what they saw.

“They seem to be a very nimble organization,” Commissioner Jon Stavney said.

Committee member Pat Hammon said she originally favored another company, but said she, too, was impressed by Augustana.

While both finalists are affiliated with churches, Hammon said she’d been assured that neither organization will push its beliefs on tenants.

“But there’s a reason our two finalists are faith-based – they believe they have a higher calling,” Stavney said.

County officials will start negotiating a “pre-development” agreement with Augustana, but said they would be willing to work with Covenant Solutions, the runner-up, if they couldn’t come to an agreement.

But committee members don’t expect that to happen. Alex Potente, the county’s managing director for housing and development, said committee members were impressed that Augustana’s executives made several trips to Eagle County before last month’s all-day meeting. And the visit to Minnesota was hosted by Augustana’s CEO.

If the negotiations with Augustana are successful, it could be another two or three years before anything is built.

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