New Rifle senior center, hospital expansion approved
At 50 years old, the E. Dene Moore Care Center needed help, advocates said, or Rifle would soon lose its senior care facility. In a resounding vote completed Tuesday, Grand River Hospital District voters chose to keep one of the staples of its community.
With an $89.4 million bond measure approved with 67 percent support, Rifle’s E. Dene Moore Care Center will be torn down and rebuilt, expanding its services and providing western Garfield County families with a brand new facility for years to come.
The bond proposal also calls for doubling the number of overnight beds at Grand River Hospital, to about 25.
Built in 1967, the senior center is plagued by obsolete plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems and had not received additional support from taxpayers since the original mill levy, Angie Densley, director of nurses at the center, told the Post Independent.
“We’ve reached the limitation of the building,” she added.
While the Rifle Chamber of Commerce hopes to see local contractors used for the project, the replacement care center will protect 86 jobs and create 200 more local ones, supporters said.
It will allow local seniors to be cared for alongside their families as it will result in 200 more patients a year and will double the number of beds, from 50 to 90-100.
Four out of five patients are being turned away due to a lack of space, according to information from election advocacy group Keep Care Local.
Each resident of the new center will have an individual room with a window.
While the senior center renovation remains the larger piece of the overall project, an expansion to Grand River Hospital will better accommodate the growing demands of a population that has grown by nearly three times from 1980 to 2010.
The expansion will increase the number of beds from 12 to 25 and will address critical improvements to its facilities, including additional intensive care unit beds, more inpatient rooms, and additional space to provide chemotherapy, cardiac rehab, cancer support, lab work and diagnostic imaging, states information from Keep Care Local.
The estimated tax impact of the proposed $89.4 million bond measure will be $2.83 per month per $100,000 of a home’s assessed value. The term of the bond would be 20 years, with the repayment plus interest totaling $154 million. The supporting mill levy would cease to exist once the bond is paid.