The St. Joseph County Council met on Tuesday, March 14, to discuss closing Portage Manor, an assisted-living facility in South Bend.
The Council decided to delay the vote by 60 days and delay using almost $3 million for costs to Portage Manor staff to close the facility.
During those 60 days, private developers will have a chance to make propositions in taking ownership of Portage Manor. Tuesday’s County Council meeting had public comments by residents and private developers interested in saving the facility.
Dr. Sylvana Atallah is one of those potential private developers. She says it’s still possible to keep Portage Manor open, “When this opportunity was presented to me, I just felt like it was a message from God. Whoever is there, stays there…To supplement the income with private payers, or just different ways we can figure out, but I know it is workable…”
One woman spoke to the council to keep Portage Manor open and give Dr. Atallah more time, “I’m just asking you to hit pause and think about it. Allow her proposal to come forward before you make this groundbreaking decision.”
In February, the St. Joseph made the decision to close Portage Manor as renovations to fix the building are too costly.
“Unfortunately, after three years of investigating, and hundreds of thousands of dollars researching various funding mechanisms to continue operations,” the Council announced in a press release, “the Council has come to the very difficult decision that Portage Manor will have to close and residents will be rehoused.”