Knoxville — At a special meeting Monday morning, the Marion County Board of Supervisors chose Ottumwa-based Tenco Industries to handle the day-to-day operations at the Marion County Care Facility.
The supervisors were looking for a new management team, due to the financial and legal struggles current administrator, Community Care, Inc., is facing. CCI is expected to be absorbed by another northern-Iowa based company to address its financial situation.
Two organizations, Tenco and Christian Opportunity Center, submitted proposals to the board for taking over the facility. Board of Supervisors Chairman Craig Agan said he voted for Tenco, because it currently operates other facilities and has been through similar transitions in the past.
Ben Wright, Executive Director of Tenco, was involved in the County's previous management transition, to CCI, in 2007. He led CCI at that time. Through the course of his career, he has navigated similar transitions at other facilities.
Wright had been contacted by CCI about possibly taking over the Marion County Care Facility. Tenco operates facilities in Van Buren, Jefferson and Wapello counties. Wright estimates that the transition of duties from CCI to Tenco is expected to take approximately one month.
As part of the transition, Tenco will reduce the number of residents at the facility to 15. There are currently 23 residents at the facility, 12 of whom are Marion County locals. Reducing the number of residents to 15 complies with State guidelines for Medicaid.
Because of the residential downsizing, Wright said staff numbers will change to reflect the number of residents in need of services. Each worker at the Care Facility will be interviewed. Wright said Tenco will attempt to transfer those who will not remain employed at the Care Facility, or assist them with finding other employment. He is hopeful that layoffs can be avoided.
Agan is hopeful that Marion County residents can continue to be cared for in Marion County, to be near their families. Tenco cannot force a resident to stay at the Care Facility, if they do not want to stay.