Bond election to determine future for Hemphill County nursing home residents

Bond election to determine future for Hemphill County nursing home residents
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District
Schematic for proposed new nursing home / Source: Hemphill County Hospital District

HEMPHILL COUNTY, TX (KFDA) - Hemphill county residents could see an increase in property taxes in order to fund a new nursing home.

That's if they vote to pass a large bond this weekend.

The current nursing home in Canadian is over 50 years old and outdated in many ways, like old air conditioning and plumbing systems.

Many potential residents have had to be turned away.

"We went from 20 residents when we first acquired this nursing home [two years ago] and we've had as many as 41, and we've turned people away because we didn't have room," said Christy Francis, CEO of the Hemphill County Hospital District. "We've turned away dementia patients because we didn't have a special unit, so there is definitely a need."

The new facility this $13.8 million dollar bond would fund would house 48 residents, and each person would have their own private bathroom.

The current nursing home only has two showers in the entire building.

The new facility would also house a memory care unit specifically to help those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.

To make it feel more like a neighborhood than a nursing home, residents would leave their rooms and walk out onto a Canadian Main Street look-a-like, not a cinder block hallway.

Building this nursing home would mean a 7¢ property tax increase for Hemphill County residents.

"It's expensive to build outside of the Amarillo area just because of the driving distance," said Francis. "We're two hours from Amarillo, so four hours out of a contractor's day is spent driving."

Francis said lots of people have shown support for the bond at their community meetings.

"We really feel like it's a need in our community just for the area residents to be able to live out their lives with dignity and be able to do it in their local community."

Hemphill County residents can cast their votes in this bond election this Saturday from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. in the Canadian High School foyer.

Copyright 2017 KFDA. All rights reserved.