UPDATE: Rock Island County votes to hire company to market Hope Creek

EAST MOLINE, III (KWQC) -- UPDATE 9-18-19 The Rock Island County Board voted 18-4 to hire the firm of Marcus and Millichap to seek potential buyers for Hope Creek nursing home.

ORIGINAL:

The future of Hope Creek Care Center in East Moline is up in the air after the Rock Island County Board voted Tuesday night to put the facility up for sale.

Despite the decision, business was going as usual on Wednesday afternoon. Residents enjoyed some music from a local band in the activity room.

The county-run home on 4343 Kennedy Drive first opened its doors in 2009. For months, it’s been dealing with financial problems. They currently are over $7.5 million in debt.

“We are living pay check to pay check and on a credit card,” said Drue Mielke, a Rock Island County Board Member.

The difficult decision is not only weighing on board members but the staff at the nursing home. Sara Young a Licensed Practitioner and Charge Nurse has been at the facility for 13 years.

“It's very devastating for current employees and family members. It’s a concern because we don't know what we are going to look at going forward,” said Sara Young a Licensed Practitioner and Charge Nurse at Hope Creek Care Center.

Although the future is unknown, Interim Executive Director Roger Herman says this trend of nursing homes being sold isn't new in the industry.

“There're nursing homes sold throughout the United States on a regular basis, maybe even daily. So this is nothing new,” said Roger Herman, an Interim Executive Director Hope Creek Care Center.

For family members that have loved ones in the home. This news also isn't new. AnneMarie Boultinghouse has had her mother at the center for nearly three years. She says the care has been nothing but tremendous and believes it will continue.

“I just don't feel the need to freak out about it or to put it in panic mode. That, Oh My Gosh, we have to find another facility. We don't know what's going to happen,” said AnneMarie Boultinghouse, who has her mother in the home.

The building may have a new owner in the coming years, but one thing staff say that won't change is the quality of care residents will receive.

“We are all going to stay strong and make the best of it and come to work every day and be here for the residents,” said Young.

“The idea that so many people are concerned about this. The place is not closing. It may be sold but that's not a for certain,” said Herman.

Herman says at the end of the day, Hope Creek will continue to be open and provide services to current and future residents. County board members estimate it will take four to six months to present a contract to sell Hope Creek. Any actual transition to a new owner could also take up to a year.