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Colfax village board approves support of Minneblom

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX  —  The Colfax Village Board has adopted a resolution in support of the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center’s proposal for a Community Based Residential Facility in the old nursing home building.

The Colfax Village Board approved a resolution of support for the Minneblom Assisted Living and Memory Care unit at the June 27 meeting.

When Colfax Health and Rehab was still located at the facility on University Avenue, the nursing home included a Minneblom memory care unit.

The new Minneblom will be located in the newer section of the building next to the clinic, said Jill Gengler, CHRC administrator.

Minneblom is the Norwegian name for the “forget-me-not” flower.

Gengler noted that CHRC currently has several residents who might benefit from living in a memory care unit and that the nursing home regularly receives calls about the availability of a memory care unit.

The unit will be set up with 18 beds and initially will create eight full-time jobs, she said.

The new Minneblom will not use any of the clinic space, but having a CBRF located next to the clinic may make it more attractive for another clinic to locate in Colfax, Gengler said.

Mayo Clinic is closing the clinic in Colfax as of July 1.

The village of Colfax is currently distributing a questionnaire to find out if residents in the area would be willing or able to use another clinic service, such as Marshfield or OakLeaf, if another clinic were to locate in Colfax.

Gengler said CHRC is planning to open the new Minneblom January 1.

CHRC is working with USDA Rural Development for funding, and the agency is looking for local support for the project, she said.

The new Minneblom will use the smaller kitchen on the north side of the building. Three handicapped accessible restrooms will have to be constructed for the CBRF, and some plumbing work and painting will need to be done, Gengler said, adding that “the investment is minimal.”

Scott Gunnufson, village president, asked about the number of full-time jobs that would be created.

The facility will need eight new full-time positions to start, but when Minneblom is at capacity with a census of 18, then 12 full-time positions will be needed, Gengler explained, noting that she expects Minneblom to reach full capacity within a year.

“And if we need to grow, we can do it,” she said.

“It would be nice to see it used again,” said Mark Halpin, village trustee.

Dunn County Human Services uses the larger conference rooms for supervised visits, Gengler noted.

Annie Schieber, village trustee, wondered why there would be fewer restrictions and a less stringent building code for a memory care unit.

One of the reasons CHRC built a new facility on the south side of town is that a sprinkler system needed to be installed in the old facility, which would have been cost-prohibitive.

A CBRF is not skilled nursing, and the old nursing home is partially covered by a sprinkler system in the common areas, which means it meets the code for a CBRF, Gengler explained.

The code requirements for a CBRF are dramatically less, and a CBRF also is not federally licensed, she said.

The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved the resolution of support for the proposed Minneblom Assisted Living and Memory Care.