Door slammed on hospice house

THE PROPOSED OUR HOUSE OF TRACY hospice house will not be built because of census and resource issues. Photo / Per Peterson

Efforts to construct a facility in Tracy have ceased due to census, resources

By Per Peterson

Hospice of Murray County has announced the move to bring a hospice house to Tracy has officially ended.

Tom Klein, chairman of Hospice of Murray County Board of Directors, told the Tracy Area Headlight Herald that although the financial support was there for Our House of Tracy, neither the current census, nor the future prospects to fill beds, was enough to justify the ongoing commitment toward the construction of the facility.

“We just can’t put that kind of investment in it if we don’t have people using the program,” Klein said. “Unfortunately, we can’t build it and just hope they will come.”

Klein said the land that was to be used for the hospice house will be returned to its original owners, Larry and Bonnie Buysse. The Buysses on Sunday expressed sadness over the fact that the facility won’t be built.

“We feel so bad,” said Bonnie. “There was such a good intent, and it would’ve been just a wonderful thing to have here. We feel bad it didn’t work out, but we totally understand what happened.”

Larry said the decision to hand over the land was an easy one.

“It was really easy for me,” he said. “We’ve had people we know on hospice and knew of the exceptional care they get. The location was perfect, and we really wanted to help make it happen. We wanted to see it come up out of the ground.”

On Oct. 9, 2019, Klein and Jessie Jorgenson, administrator at Hospice of Murray County, hosted a public forum in Tracy concerning the future of Our House of Tracy. Both expressed optimism for the future, despite various hurdles facing a project that would’ve built a 6,100 square-foot, four bedroom residential house on a one-plus-acre plot northeast of Sanford Tracy, near the intersection of Fifth St. East and State St.

At that time, it was hoped that groundbreaking would take place sometime in 2019, but that never happened. Some infrastructure work at the site did take place in November 2017, but, aside from fundraising, that’s as far as the project got.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.