Residents living in a nursing care and assisted-living facility in Bellevue will be able to remain in their homes following a successful bidding process that concluded Monday and resulted in a new owner of Safe Haven’s Bell Mountain Village and Care Center, saving the facility from a potential foreclosure and eviction.
According to court documents, the bid satisfies the company’s largest creditor, Citizens Community Bank, which had initially rejected a lower bid and submitted a legal notice with the Idaho Mountain Express for a foreclosure auction to take place in December. At a Bankruptcy Court hearing on Monday, an attorney representing the bank said that the bank had always hoped for this positive outcome, which is why it scheduled the foreclosure auction so far out—to give Safe Haven more time to find a buyer.
Cascadia Services LLC, a company that owns several nursing care facilities throughout Idaho, Montana and Oregon, will begin the process of taking over the state licenses and certifications required, estimated to take several months, and in the meantime Safe Haven will continue to operate the Bellevue facility, according to Safe Haven’s attorney, Matt Christensen.
The bid was part of an overall plan submitted by Safe Haven to Bankruptcy Court that included the liquidation of most of its assets to relieve itself from Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which was filed on Aug. 10, 2018.
According to Safe Haven President and CEO Scott Burpee, the bankruptcy was filed after the company had trouble collecting an insurance claim for a fire at its facility in Pocatello in November 2017. The fire caused an estimated $2 million in damages and displaced 49 residents. In January, an attorney for Safe Haven said the company was in mediation with the insurance company, but that has since failed, according to Burpee, and the case is now headed for a jury trial sometime in the next few months.
In a phone interview last month, Burpee said Safe Haven’s other Bellevue facility, Safe Haven Homes, on Seventh Street, has been emptied, with 10 residents who were living there being transferred to the care center on Sixth Street, and one resident was transferred to another facility in Wendell, Idaho, owned by Burpee. The empty building will be handed to the facility’s creditor, Zions Bank.
“The residents successfully transitioned to the larger Bell Mountain facility and the residents appear happy, thriving,” Patient Care Ombudsman Julia D. Kyte said at Monday’s bankruptcy hearing.
Kyte also reported that she had met with the owners of Cascadia, based in Eagle, Idaho, and was satisfied that they would continue to provide a good level of care to the facility’s residents. She also said Cascadia’s owners have said they will retain as many current employees and administrators as they can and potentially offer additional benefits to them in order to “raise the level of care” for residents.