Hurry Up, and Wait

Candas Schouvieller, Administrator

Three years ago, when we started planning for our expansion, Growing Our Tomorrow, we could have never predicted that ‘hurry up, and wait’ might have been a better campaign slogan! First, we hurried to complete a market study, then we had a pandemic and waited. Next, assisted living licensure changes hurried us to finish architecture and design plans and we ramped up fundraising. Our project was approved and we waited to send request for bids until the perfect time. Bids were sent and we waited, they came back and we gasped. Inflation was not in our plan, nor was supply chain issues requiring us to make immediate decisions on key things like generators and electrical panels. We hurry and order now, because there is a year long wait. Hurry up, and wait.

We have a great team and we put our heads together and came up with a plan. Our project has a natural phase approach, we will build first, renovate second and finish the chapel third. Value based engineering allowed us to make some decisions on our original design choices that were more fiscally responsible. For example, we had selected carpet that would be manufactured overseas, and a very similar option made here in the U.S.A. is less expensive. Same quality made at home, good choice. We’ve been quietly making many decisions from cabling to ceramic tile at the best value for the same quality.

In 2008, when we remodeled our skilled nursing facility those funds were made possible by a moratorium grant process funded each year by the Department of Health and Human Services. The chapel will be in our skilled nursing facility and thus we will seek grant funding for this part of our project. It’s a competitive process, where we are required to fund and carry the cost for 18 months until the State begins reimbursing us for the investment. Building additional housing for our community is the priority, so we will focus on that part first.

So where does that leave us? Our project is approved. Financing waiting the last step of city bond council, then bids can be released and work can begin. Read more on page 2 about the bond process. Groundbreaking previously scheduled July 14th will be rescheduled upon completion of this process. Thank you for your patience, we are excited to be at this final phase in the process.

What does it mean to have financing bonded?

Mark Petersen, United Prairie Bank

  1. Where do bonds come from? In general and specifically for Oak Hills.
    • To finance Oak Hills Living Centers credit needs, United Prairie Bank has performed a bond issue using Brown County. These are direct placement bonds meaning United Prairie will be purchasing all of the bonds as they are classified as bank qualified. They are not public placement bonds which allows individuals to purchase them.
  2. Are there different types of bonds and why is Oak Hills using a specific type?
    • The benefit of this type of bond is the interest rate for Oak Hills. Bonds make the interest rate tax exempt for the bank and as a result Oak Hills receives a lower interest rate than normal market rate loans. This is the benefit for Oak Hills. It is more expensive up front for Oak Hills than normal market rate loans, but much less expensive than public placement bonds.
  3. For the business receiving bond driven financing, how does that differ from a typical mortgage?
    • The benefit of financing projects with bank qualified bonds is the interest rate for Oak Hills. There still is a mortgage in place, the process just adds a level of underwriting for the bond issue which is what the bond counsel does for United Prairie and Oak Hills. This is the extra cost over a typical mortgage but the benefit is a much lower interest rate.
  4. Is it possible for investors to buy the specific bonds that will finance Oak Hills’ expansion?
    • With the expansion, I am sorry to inform you it is not possible for private investors to purchase the bonds. United Prairie, however, will be working with local banks in New Ulm to purchase a portion of the bond, but private individuals are not allowed to do a purchase.

We are saddened to learn of the closing of the Winthrop Nursing Home. Seniors all over Minnesota need action and YOU can help. Please click this link and contact your legislators. Just 6% of the budget surplus would have increased caregiver wages to $25/hour permanently. A career wage, showing these caregivers how much, they are valued. Click here and act now. Tell your legislators to call a special session. The need is critical for long term care.

Thank you for joining us for our annual ice cream social and grill out! We served 21 gallons of ice cream! Your gifts bring our capital campaign total to $1,071,620 as of 6/29/2022. View virtual donor recognition wall here.

Meet a Resident

Faye S.’s favorite childhood memory is flower sack dresses and fishing with her father on the St. James River in South Dakota. She later taught first and second grade. Her favorite meal would include potato pancakes. Her favorite activities at Oak Hills are library and bingo. When asked if she would recommend Oak Hills, she said yes, she likes the staff, activities and food.

June Happenings!

Employee of the Month

Congratulations to Crystal Lieder, employee of the month!

Crystal was voted by her co-workers as someone who is very dedicated, talented, and picks up extra hours. Crystal’s willingness to fill in the gaps is always appreciated by staff and residents. Thank you for being a great Team player!

Jessica Christensen, Genevieve Anderson and Michelle Aspelund celebrate years of service in June.

Jessica Christensen has been spreading her smiles and caring nature to the residents of Oak Hills for the past 23 years! She keeps her dining room running smoothly, comes through in a pinch for a fun lemonade party in the courtyard and ensures residents have the foods they like for each and every meal. Thank you for brightening the day of everyone you meet, from residents, to staff and families. We are blessed!

For the past 15 years, Gen Anderson has been quietly making huge contributions to Oak Hills. Laundry, homemaker, activities, and housekeeping all benefit from her dedication and creativity. The residents are her first priority! Thank you for setting such a great example, you are appreciated.

Michelle Aspelund, TMA/RNA celebrated her 10 year work anniversary in June. Michelle can be found on Meadow View passing meds, helping with cares, and taking care of the residents like her own family. She and resident Mary R. have a special bond. Thank you Michelle, we appreciate you!

July Employee Anniversaries

NameHire Year
Kara Fluegge2004
Mandi Malcolm2007
Jeremy Broste2014
Hallie Hagen2015
Jacob Hogen2015
Allison Becker2016
Stephanie Sievert2016
Kathleen Eckstrand2017
Katelyn Suess2017
Kaylyn Broste2018
Brenna Barstad2019
Calleigh Buechner2019
Amber Sullivan2020
Joey Kotten2021
Mackenzie Weinkauf2021

2nd Annual Golf Derby

Registration is now open for the 2022 Golf Derby. Click here to register online or download a registration form. Questions? 507-233-0851

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