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The Board of Directors of the Knox County Nursing Home District announces that the District has made a final payment to the Bank of New York for the purpose of paying off the Bond for construction of the Residential Care Facility.
The amount of the original bond in 1983 was $582,500. Since origination of the loan, the Board has refinanced this loan in order to get a better interest rate. This bond is being paid off three years early and releases the District of all long-term debts.
In June of 1983, the Board of Directors for the Knox County Nursing Home District began looking into expanding the nursing home. The administrator at that time was Gerald Foreman. Board members included: Alberty Dye – Chairman, Marilyn Goodwin – Vice Chairman, Dale Norton – Secretary, Roy Parcell, Allen Cheatum and Virgil McKenzie. On November 8, 1983 there was a special bond election for the purpose of adding the RCF. That bond issue passed by a vote of 558 "yes" and 165 "no" votes. Financing was initially arranged through the Farmers Home Administration. The Nursing Home District put up enough money to cover the bond requirements for funded depreciation and bond reserve ($108,500) and the RCF has made payments from money generated solely from the operation of the RCF to pay off the bond. Tax levy monies were not allowed to be used for payment for the RCF consequently the District maintains separate accounting for the nursing home and residential care facility. The RCF was opened in March of 1985.
The Knox County Residential Care Facility is a 24-bed facility that assists residents with their daily needs. Residents can choose private and semi-private apartments, which are very home-like. Each apartment has a small kitchenette, separate bedroom and bathroom, and a living room area. Each room is equipped with call light systems. Meals, laundry and housekeeping services are provided. Medications are controlled by the RCF staff and given according to doctors’ orders. Staff are on duty 24 hours a day and the "Director" is a licensed nurse who communicates issues and concerns to the doctor, as well as family members. Transportation services are available and some even have their own vehicle at the facility.
Criteria for RCF admission is that the resident is physically and cognitively capable of making a pathway to safety without the help of staff. They must be able to do this within four minutes. Residents also need to be capable of dressing and toileting themselves independently.
The State has recently passed legislation to distinguish between a Residential Care Facility and an "Assisted Living Facility." This legislation has allowed some facilities to keep residents who require a higher level of care if they prove that the facility is equipped to meet those needs. There are more requirements from the facility as far as written plan of care as to how to meet each person’s individual needs. The tail end of this piece of legislation appoints a committee to develop a Medicaid Reimbursement Plan. Knox County has chosen to remain as an RCF primarily because when residents need a higher level of care, they may be transferred to the nursing home where they can receive the higher level of care. Should Medicaid begin to pay for "Assisted Living," the District may need to re-evaluate their license type. There has also been new legislation regarding fire safety facilities to upgrade their fire alarm system and for those licensed for more than 20 residents, they will be required to install a sprinkler system by the year 2012. The Knox County RCF has already made upgrades to their fire alarm system.
The Knox County Nursing Home District Administrator Tim Schrage stated that having the bond retired is a tremendous financial relief to the District. The principle and interest payment was approximately $58,000 a year. Now that the Residential Care Facility has paid it’s bond debt, other issues can be focused on such as repaying the nursing home for monies fronted in order to cover the bond requirements for funded depreciation and bond reserve. Also, the Board of Directors has suggested the District look into converting the bathtubs to walk-in showers so they would be more handi-cap accessible.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, Administrator Schrage expressed his appreciation to families who have supported the RCF and used its services. He stated that the RCF has truly been a blessing for many families who needed assistance but were not yet ready for the nursing home. It took vision on behalf of Mr. Foreman and the Board of Directors in 1983 and today is a milestone for the Knox County Residential Care Facility.