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 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. Executives at Bethany, which is owned by six area churches, proposed building a nursing home on its Bethany Meadows campus in Brandon. Because of nursing home industry regulations, financing can be hard to come by, and financing for 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 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 more economical than the cost of issuing bonds.
Instead of buying furniture from institutional suppliers, Bethany contracted with a local woodworker to design and build the night stands, wardrobes, and head boards. Bethany is also working with a local business to design window treatments. This project’s support of local businesses is helping to strengthen the rural economy.
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 stay in Brandon, closer to families and friends. Additionally, the new nursing home will also create 50 to 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 the community.