Jeffco Commission moving ahead with nursing home sale

By Alan Collins

JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - The Jefferson County owned nursing home could be on the auction block soon. A majority of the county commission wants to sell the Jefferson County Rehabilitation and Health Center.

"As painful as it is, we have been dealing with a deficit situation out there for years and it's worse more than ever it's been. It's made it critical at this point," Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins said.

So far, the county has spent $3 million to keep the facility for low income residents open. Collins says she may have an offer as soon as next week, but other commissioners say 'not so fast'.

"We know of several people are interested in this . We are not willing to take the first one to come along. We want to vet out all interested buyers," Jefferson Co. Commissioner Bobby Humphryes said.

Commissioners say there is a great deal of interest in the obtaining nursing home beds in the county.

"I'd say in the next month or two. A lot of things would have to happen."Jefferson Co. Commissioner Jim Carns said. Jefferson County Commissioner says the residents can be reassigned to new homes and the county plans to help the county workers find new jobs.

The two candidates in the runoff for district one on the county commission totally oppose the sale of the county home. "The county has moral responsibility, a written responsibility to take care of the indigent, to provide healthcare for the indigent," said District 1 candidate George Bowman.  

The other candidate in the runoff for District 1, Johnathan Austin, agrees with Bowman that the county should hold off on the sale until the District 1 seat is filled.

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