CUMBERLAND — Officials with the Lions Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care, Inc. on Haystack Mountain have signed a letter of intent to sell the entity to investors planning a new long-term care complex along U.S. Route 220 in Rawlings.
Ed Crossland and John Emerick, both on the Lions Center Board of Directors, announced the sale at Thursday’s meeting of the Allegany County commissioners.
Built in 1969, the 101-bed Lions Center is located at 901 Seton Drive, behind the new Allegany High School. Crossland said the sale will be a step to provide improved care for the elderly of the community.
“For several years the Lions Center board has struggled with a substantial increase in regulations on nursing homes, decreased Medicare payments and private pay clients, and an ever-increasing cost of operations,” said Crossland. “While currently able to maintain the existing facility, the board’s ability to make long-term plans has become increasingly difficult.”
Crossland said it is, “no longer feasible nor is it practical to continue to operate a small, stand-alone nonprofit nursing home.”
The Lions Center board signed a letter of intent in December to sell the beds and other assets to the proposed new senior living complex planned for Rawlings. It was announced in September that local businessmen Jeff Metz and Dave Weimer had agreed to utilize 200 acres of the Cumberland Chase tract in Rawlings to construct independent living apartments and cottages, an assisted living facility and a skilled nursing center. The facilities are to be built in phases with a ground breaking expected to take place this year.
“The Lions Center board is excited about the plans for the development of the Cumberland Chase property and believe that not only will it provide a premier campus for the care for the elderly, but that it will be a substantial asset to the local economy, the community and the county,” said Crossland.
Transfer of the Lions Center is likely to occur in 2022, according to Crossland, at which time the current operation on Haystack Mountain will come to an end.
Officials with the Lions Center have indicated for years they were looking to move from their current location. The Lions Center has a long-term lease for the current 16-acre site, which is owned by Allegany County. Crossland said the Lions Center board currently has not made any plans or arrangements with the county to relinquish the lease back to the county.
Follow staff writer Greg Larry on Twitter @GregLarryCTN.