They're expected to undergo extensive scrutiny.
Three companies have submitted bids to purchase the Montevue Assisted Living Facility and the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center. During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday afternoon, County Manager Lori Depies says they are Aurora Health Care Management, Millennium Management and NMS Health Care.
She says each of these companies toured both facilities before making bids. But now the evaluation committee set up to review the bids will be visiting each of these companies' properties to see how they are run. "We want to get an assessment of the patients, how satisfied the employees are at those facilities, and we'll also be doing in-depth analysis on their financial statements," she says.
In January, the Frederick County Commissioners decided to contract with Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services of Maryland to determine if there is any interest in purchasing Citizens and Montevue. Board members say they have not decided on whether to sell, lease or keep these properties, but they wanted to see what's out there.
The county received 6 bids, but Depies said it wanted to look at three of these companies, all of which have a presence in Maryland, she says.
While not saying how much each bid was in value, Depies said all three companies were required to submit bids of at least $27-million.
Over the next couple of weeks, Depies says the evaluation committee,along with the county's financial adviser and bond council, will review each of the bids as well as the companies' financial statements. The committee will make a recommendation to the Commissioners in a closed session. An announcement will be made in public, and the Commissioners will decide in open session which of the bidders will buy Montevue and Citizens. After that, they will hold a public hearing, and could take a vote on the night of the hearing, or at a later date.
"This is still in the exploration stage," says Depies. "There's been no final decision, one way or the other."
She says the Commissioners could decide to sell the properties, or keep them under county control.
Meanwhile, both the Montevue Assisted Living Facility and the Citizens Care and Rehabilitation Center will continue to operate as normal. "I recognize that there's a lot of anxiety for the residents and the employees of the facility. We apologize for that. It's unavoidable. We're doing everything we can to move swiftly through the process. Move through the process methodically and logically so we come to the best conclusion possible," says Depies.
Currently, the two centers are managed by LW Consulting. The contract expires June 30th, but Depies says the county is negotiating a new contract to run the facilities if the process of deciding their futures them takes longer than anticipated.
A sale of these two properties would relieve the Commissioners of an annual subsidy to operate Citizens and Montevue, which is budgeted at about $4.2-million.