EYOTA — Tuesday night, the Eyota City Council voted unanimously to accept a $2.1 million offer for the purchase of Arbor Gardens, the city-owned senior living facility.
The 36-bed facility has been owned by the city since it was built in 2003. Currently, it is operated by Tealwood Care Management on the city's behalf.
However, Mayor Tony Nelson has said the city is looking to sell the facility because the ownership of a retirement home and care facility is not what the city does best, and there are costs associated with running a senior facility.
For example, on Tuesday the city approved more than $7,600 in expenses to fix the floors of two of the apartments in the facility.
"I think people should know the sale of this will bring $50,000-$60,000 of new tax benefits a year," said Council Member Bryan Cornell.
Nelson said EYALC, LLC, the company that made the offer for Arbor Gardens, operates 48 other senior living facilities. The company plans to work with Tealwood to keep the current employees and continue operating Arbor Gardens in the same manner the business currently operates.
"There will be an agreed upon smooth transition from one management company to the next," Cornell said.
The city held a pair of public hearings on the issue of selling the facility, neither of which garnered much opposition.
With most major decisions about the facility being made by city council, Nelson said, it was time to hand Arbor Gardens over to a company in the industry.
Cornell said the $2.1 million will cover the city's remaining debt on the facility plus give the city some extra cash at the end of the deal. That money will go back into the city budget for a yet-to-be-determined purpose.
First, the city and EYALC, LLC, will need to close on the deal around Jan. 30.
In other business, the city council approved an increase in sewer and water rates for 2020. For water, the new base rate will be $6.10 with a volume rate of $3.85 per 1,000 gallons, up 15 cents and 10 cents, respectively.
The sewer rate increased to a base rate of $13.75 and a volume rate of $6.85 per 1,000 gallons. Those represent increases of 30 cents and 25 cents, respectively.