LEXINGTON — Plum Creek Care Center and WEL-Life Assisted Living in Lexington have announced they will be closing this fall.
Lantis Enterprises, the South Dakota-based owners of the facilities, said residents and staff were notified Wednesday. Lantis has yet to respond to questions about the shutdown.
Lantis Enterprises operates 21 long-term care centers, six Alzheimer’s units, 14 personal care and assisted living facilities and five home health agencies, according to its website.
The Lantis family has owned the Plum Creek Care Center for nearly 40 years. According to the Dawson County website, the facility was built in 1964.
The closure announcement comes two months after Avamere at Lexington landlord said it would close on July 31 and the property was sold to a Roswell, NM limited liability company
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The City of Lexington determined it was in the best interest of the community to acquire the former Avamere property on August 1 and leased the facility to a nonprofit corporation. The facility has operated as Ridgeway Senior Living since the city’s acquisition.
“The Lexington community cannot afford the loss of senior care and senior housing availability,” the City of Lexington said in a news release.
Before the city acquired ownership of Avamere, Keith Sladky, vice president of operations at Lantis Enterprises, had questions about the decision at the June 28 meeting of the Lexington City Council.
Sladky said the purchase of the Avamere property involved the city in a private industry and competed with the Plum Creek Care Center.
“I think the city buying a business to directly compete with our business is probably unprecedented,” Sladky said during the meeting.
Sladky said he felt the city’s purchase could put a damper on the operation of Plum Creek Care Center. Sladky also said that due to COVID-19, the center has suffered losses and seen costs rise.
Sladky asked: If the Plum Creek Care Center can no longer operate, will the city buy it too?
Mayor John Fagot said Avamere would not be tax exempt.
Fagot said: “The city is acting more or less like a banker, and we’re going to put that into play with a board of directors first, which is not run by any of us (the city council) here. Then we’ll have to see where we go from there.
“We don’t intend to do anything to hinder your operations or compete other than the way they’ve coexisted for years,” Fagot told Sladky.
Fagot also said council discussed whether the Plum Creek Care Center was in a redevelopment area and whether there were any upgrades needed to make the facility more vital; the city has economic development funds or redevelopment funds that the center could use.
“We want to emphasize that absolutely if there is anything we can do to help you improve your installation, please don’t hesitate to contact us,” Fagot said.