Brandon, South Dakota, with a population of about 9,000, has seen significant growth in the last decade, including the area of senior care. There are two assisted living communities in Brandon, but there has never been a nursing home. This has put strain on both the patients and their families.
Bethany Lutheran Home for the Aged, LLC operates a nursing home in Sioux Falls, a neighboring community, and the Bethany Meadows independent and assisted living facility in Brandon. Bethany, which is owned by six area churches, proposed building a nursing home addition on its Bethany Meadows campus in Brandon. Because the nursing home industry is regulated, financing can be hard to come by, and financing for new construction needs to be at the lowest possible interest rate.
Bethany’s board of directors tasked its management to come up with a financing plan that would be within its budget. After talking with a variety of people in the financing industry, and hearing many positive accounts of working with USDA Rural Development, Bethany contacted the Rural Development office in Sioux Falls. The Community Facilities loan staff was able to put together a financing package that included both direct loans and loan guarantees at rates that are more economical than the cost of issuing bonds.
After the Rural Development financing package was approved in January, 2011, Bethany broke ground on a 58-bed nursing home project in Brandon. This $10 million project will help elderly people who need nursing home care to be able to stay in Brandon, closer to their families and friends. Additionally, the new nursing home will also create 50-60 new jobs in Brandon, which is very significant in a community of that size. Brandon is often thought of as a bedroom community to Sioux Falls, so adding jobs that people don’t have to leave town for is important, especially when those jobs are skilled positions like nursing and administration. The more people who live and work in Brandon, the stronger all the businesses will be in our community.
Rural Development’s support also inspired Bethany to try to keep as many aspects of the project local as possible. Instead of buying all the furniture for the resident rooms from institutional suppliers, Bethany contracted with a local woodworker to design and build the nightstands, wardrobes and headboards, keeping all that money in the community. Bethany is also working with a local window covering business to design window treatments for nearly 100 windows, again, supporting a local business and helping the rural South Dakota economy.
To find out how USDA’s Community Facilities Program can help your rural town achieve its goals click here.