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Vote on Haven deal postponed

Commissioners likely will consider idea next week

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association will have to wait one more week before finding out whether Moffat County will contribute funding to the nonprofit organization’s merger with The Haven, an assisted living facility in Hayden.

The Moffat County commissioners had intended to make a funding decision Tuesday.

But they failed to list the business item on their meeting agenda and were forced to postpone it until next week.



The VNA has requested the county contribute $2,500 as a gesture of support for the VNA’s efforts to acquire The Haven. The funding would demonstrate regional support to agencies that may donate grants to the VNA, VNA Director Sue Birch said.

But the request has come under fire by some county residents who say the county would be subsidizing a program that competes against private industry.



After hearing such criticisms at a meeting one week ago, the commissioners voted to table the decision.

Commissioner Darryl Steele has said he is against making a contribution, while Commissioner Marianna Raftopoulos has voiced support for the contribution.

Commissioner Les Hampton refused to give an opinion about his stance on the issue, saying it would be inappropriate to do so since the commissioners weren’t voting on the issue. Hampton’s vote will swing the decision.

Birch again said that The Haven would not compete with other elderly care facilities in Northwest Colorado.

The Haven is the only facility in the region that accepts Medicaid as payment for housing.

VNA Board member Pres Askew wrote a letter to the commissioners, encouraging them to contribute to the merger.

“We feel several years from now it will be clear that having an organization with the strength of the VNA operating The Haven is beneficial to the residents of Northwest Colorado, and the support of the various governmental agencies, although not great in dollars, was an effective use of a small amount of tax dollars,” Askew wrote.

He cited regional bus service, the Yampa Valley Regional Airport and high-speed Internet as services Moffat County and Northwest Colorado might not have if local government did not help fund them.

Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or rgebhart@craigdailypress.com.


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