Lawrence Place to be sold by March
The owner of a Russellville assisted living facility has put the business up for sale rather than face a hearing with state health officials that could have resulted in its closing.
Roger Jacobson, owner of Lawrence Place assisted living, said he will sell the facility or lease it before a March 7 deadline under an agreement reached with the state Department of Public Health.
Jacobson was set to meet with state officials this week after Lawrence Place learned two weeks ago that they had scored 38 out of a possible 100 points after a November inspection.
"We have agreed to sell it," Jacobson said. "Who wants to fight with (the state)?"
Lawrence Place has been allowed to remain open, but as part of the agreement signed by the state and Jacobsen, they will have to close or have a new operator by early March.
"He has to sell it to an operator that's acceptable to us or it will be closed," Rick Harris, director of health provider services for the department, said.
If Lawrence Place fails to be sold or leased by the March 7 deadline, Harris said they would have 20 days to close. That time period would be given to allow residents to find a place to live.
"Facilities in this situation are almost always able to find a buyer," Harris said.
Jacobson said that he has been contacted by several potential suitors and believes that he will be able to sell by the deadline. If the building sells, there is no guarantee that a new owner would use it for such a facility.
"I am not going to tell anyone what to do with it, but I am sure anybody that's interested would want it as an assisted living place," Jacobson said.
State health inspectors filed a lengthy report following a November inspection that cited Lawrence Place for several violations, including questions over administrative training and the care of patients.
Jacobson contends vendettas against him and Lawrence Place employees are the reason questions arose at all.
"I am just going to sell it and get out from the middle of it," he said.
By agreeing to sell the facility, Harris said that Lawrence Place officials were agreeing not to contest the state's findings.
Country Cottage assisted living is the only other such facility in the county.