St. Joseph County Commissioners to consider Portage Manor proposals

NOW: St. Joseph County Commissioners to consider Portage Manor proposals

The St. Joseph County Board of Commissioners will now consider proposals to keep Portage Manor up and running.  

The Board's Tuesday night meeting marked the deadline to submit potential pathways to keep Portage Manor open, but commissioners decided to not hear any presentations.

The Portage Manor Task Force and Dr. Sylvana Atallah, a local doctor who expressed interest in buying the building to sustain it, were the only two parties who submitted options, Tuesday.

Among the Task Force recommendations is finding a third party to operate Portage Manor in a public-private partnership. It claims more than 1,500 people have signed a petition in support.

"I think there is a lot of interest for [a partnership] out there," Portage Manor Task Force member Jason Critchlow said. "It's just you have to have the political will and the willingness to do it."

The century-old care facility for seniors and people with disabilities currently houses 90 residents. In a previous vote, Commissioners had decided to close Portage Manor. Then in March, the Board invited the public to present plans to keep it open.

Once the Commissioners have reviewed the proposals, the Board said it will provide feedback to the County Council prior to their vote on June 13, 2023.

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