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Saturday, July 2, 2022

County supervisors decide to purchase St. John’s Retirement Village

Due to the pandemic, St. John’s announces closure and Yolo County purchases the facility in Woodland for $2.9 million

 

By: RIDDHI PURANIK — city@theaggie.org

 

      St. John’s Retirement Village in Woodland announced its closure on Feb. 7, according to a letter from St. John’s Board of Directors. At a Yolo County Board of Directors meeting on April 12, attendees dicussed plans for repurposing the facility if the board was to purchase it, and on May 10, the county officially approved the purchase. At the time the closure was announced, there was only one resident remaining in the facility. In a letter from the St. Johns Board of Directors, the directors outlined the cause for closure.

      “COVID-19 continued to mutate creating new infections and major challenges, including decreased demand and interest in St. John’s services, insufficient labor resources and frequent lockdowns through 2021 and into 2022,” the letter reads. 

      At the April 12 meeting, the county approved a $400,000 dollar advance to St. John’s which was requested for “the orderly winddown of their operations and ongoing maintenance of the property,” according to county counsel Kimberly Hood in the Yolo County Board of Directors meeting on April 12. This advance came from the capital outlay funds and the remaining $2.5 million will be from the county’s American Rescue Plan funds.

      The facility consists of two parcels of land, the Stollwood Nursing Facility and St. John’s Retirement Village. The St. John’s board is working with their partner, Dignity Healthcare, to take over the Stollwood facility while the county purchases St. John’s.

      On April 12, the county asked the St. John’s directors to consider an alternative proposal from a private group of Woodland citizens, consisting of a former Woodland mayor and previous St. John’s staff member. The group, led by Stan Levers, is interested in retaining St. John’s largely as a long term care facility, as discussed in the meeting.

      The county intends to repurpose the retirement village to serve low-income community members in the surrounding areas. According to the plans proposed by the county, the 13 cottages within the facility are projected to be converted to apartments for low-income CalWorks families and seniors. 

Supervisor Phil Pogledich said that “this is a property that presents a lot of compelling reuse potential to the county,” and that it “provides a lot of potential for community benefit.”

      Additionally, the repurposing of the facility seeks to create a new Adult Day Health Center. The administration and kitchen area is under review to be used as an expanded facility for Meals on Wheels which provides services to elderly in Yolo County.

  On April 26, the Board was scheduled to hold a public hearing for the proposal but the matter was held off on request of the St. John’s board of directors, according to Supervisor Angel Barajas. 

In the Yolo County Board of Directors meeting on May 10, the supervisors decided on moving forward with the purchase of the retirement home. This decision was made despite the lawsuit that was filed by the private group with the intent of blocking the county’s purchase. 

The pending litigation could result in a potential delay but the board of supervisors intends on carrying forward with their plans for purchase and repurposing. County Counsel Phil Pogledich proposed a motion at the Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday “to revise the purchase and sale agreement to reflect the pending litigation, adjusting time frames for closing, including appropriate conditions to ensure resolution of the litigation and any other outstanding issues to the satisfaction of the county.”

Supervisor Don Saylor spoke on the county’s continued interest in purchasing the St. John’s retirement home. 

 “I remain very, very excited about the potential reuse of this facility for so many mutually supportive purposes,” Saylor said. “I would like us to move forward with the acquisition of the property.”

 

Written by: Riddhi Puranik — city@theaggie.org

 

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