NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Local nursing home representatives and those competing to build nursing homes in New Hanover County had five minutes a piece to persuade decision-makers as to why they deserve space for more residents. Five of those are already operating in the county. The businesses are all vying for a certificate of need, granted by the state. One-hundred-thirty "beds" have been allocated to New Hanover County, creating space for 130 more residents. The spaces can be granted to one facility, or split up among several applicants. A panel from the state's Department of Human resources has the final say-so. Doug Suddreth with the Autumn Corporation said, "Once the hearing is over, then at the end of this period the agency will issue a finding and after that finding, anyone who feels that they were aggrieved has 31 days to appeal." The entire process takes about six months. A final decision should be down by the end of the year.
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