City Council Hears Concerns from Broken Bow Care and Rehab Staff and Community Members

City Council Hears Concerns from Broken Bow Care and Rehab Staff and Community Members
Concerned staff and community members speak before the City Council regarding Broken Bow Care and Rehab on Tuesday evening

BROKEN BOW—The Broken Bow Care and Rehabilitation Center continues to look for a buyer before the scheduled closing date of May 27. (Click here to view the April 3 story.) Many concerned citizens attended the Broken Bow City Council meeting on Tuesday evening in order to discuss the fate of the senior care facility.

Director of Nursing Jennifer Larson spoke before the council hoping to get some support. She stated that if Broken Bow Care and Rehab closes, there will only be 95 licensed beds in Custer County and current residents would have to move possibly an hour or more away. The center currently employs 48 people and houses 25 residents (out of a possible 79 licenses beds).

Larson told the council that Broken Bow Care and Rehab is a “good, positive facility, but needs the backing to get it done” in order to remain open.

Loved ones of current residents attended the city council meeting asking for support from city leaders in the form of financial assistance and/or backing from a task force to find a permanent solution after more than a year of being placed in receivership and managed by Klaasmeyer and Associates.

Larson said more than 1,200 people in Custer County are ages 65 and older and that more than 50% of people in that age category need long-term care at some point or another, on average.

Councilman Chris Myers said despite the tough emotions embedded in this situation, it breaks down to reality and dollars in how to keep Broken Bow Care and Rehab operating.

Staff members said they have not lost any employees over the last year and that the passion remains for taking care of its residents and their families. However, the clock is ticking.

Pleasanton resident Randy Bauer spoke before the council saying his mother is a resident at Broken Bow Care and Rehab and that his dad visits the area twice a week.

“We’re from Pleasanton so we go to Kearney quite a bit. My dad works up in this area so we decided to check her into the facility at the rehab [Broken Bow] and the building isn’t super nice but it’s clean and the people there impressed me. And we looked at the Kearney units, we looked all over and we decided to come to Broken Bow because of the people that were here. My dad works up here and comes up and visits Mom probably twice a week. I come with my family up from Kearney and we drive up, we buy gas, we do our grocery shopping here now and those are things that we never did before. And you have a neat little community here. So I just wanted to commend the people that are working here and we’re from, you know, a different community but it’s pretty neat to be in a small-town community. Kearney people aren’t quite like that so I just wanted to commend you on that and they have a good thing going, you know, whatever it can take to help these people out would be awesome,” Bauer said.

Also, on Tuesday evening, complaints were addressed regarding food truck parking on the south side of the square. No decisions were made but through discussions with the council, city attorney, police chief, and local citizens the general consensus was that as long as permits/licenses are up-to-date and ordinances are not being violated, the vendors have the right to be there.