Otoe County commissioners agreed Tuesday to sell the county-owned nursing home to facility managers Roy and Holly Schneider.
Roy 2 Holly LLC presented the sole bid for the nursing home buildings and the Duff Mansion of $400,010.
Schneider said purchasing the building will provide stability for Duff's Friendship Villa, which has operated the facility since 1974 and was currently paying rent of $5,000 a month.
“There will not be the question of whether another contract will be signed,” he said.
He said the 63-bed facility will benefit because the money that had gone to rent can now go for building repairs and remodeling.
The county had maintenance responsibilities for the nursing home and the Duff Mansion, but had shut down the house rather than repair the heating system and discussed in November the possibility of its demolition.
The Duff Mansion was the home of a pioneer family that was donated for county use in 1949. It has been vacant since the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services moved its offices.
Schneider said he did not want the house to be a burden for the county. “It needed numerous repairs and this way is is not a burden to the taxpayers,” he said.
Schneider said it would cost about $2.5 million to update to house so it can be used in connection with a nursing home. Demolition is expected to cost $80,000.
He said a green space for residents will be installed when the house is removed. The purchase agreement with the county requires the house to be repaired or demolished within a year.
Schneider said the purchase will allow Duff's Friendship Villa to move forward.
“We are still an independently run facility, so were not a corporation that runs other nursing homes. Our philosophy is patient care and our customers are from Otoe County and surrounding area,” he said.
There was discussion at the meeting regarding sentiment toward saving the mansion.
Real estate agent Mark Easter said the county never received a solid offer from anyone interested in buying and repairing it.