Residents still waiting to move into Peoria County nursing home

Aug 30, 2013

It’s been months since construction on Peoria County’s new nursing home finished, and residents are still waiting to move-in. The state Department of Public Health still needs to approve health-life-safety inspections on the $45 million Heddington Oaks facility.  At issue is where residents should go if the nursing home needs to evacuate during an emergency.  The state has said residents should move near Heading Avenue if temporary evacuation is needed.  Assistant Peoria County Administrator Scott Sorrel says the County proposed a different plan:

 “We have identified areas of safe-harbor on the property other than Heading Avenue.  And we have made an argument to IDPH that says our plan should we ever have to evacuate Heddington Oaks, is code-compliant,” Sorrel says.  

 Officials now say the state would support the County’s plan if more flood-lights are installed outside of Heddington Oaks.  They say a final equipment inspection could start next week if the state approves the evacuation plan.  That means residents could move-into the nursing facility in mid-to-late September.  Many would-be residents at the new building remain at Bel-Wood Nursing home.  Bel-Wood stood to be in state violation for outdated fire codes if residents didn’t move out earlier this month.  Sorrel says the state continues to extend the ‘move-out’ date.