Greenbelt Geosystem and Development, Inc., official presents a proposal for a 99-bed facility

A proposal for a senior citizens independent living center was rolled out Wednesday at the Taft Chamber of Commerce weekly Sit 'n Sip.
Manuel J. Navarro, president of Bakersfield-based Greenbelt Geosystem and Development, Inc., presented a proposal for a 99-bed facility that will include an assisted living center, convalescence and nursing home, home health services, a dialysis center and laboratory, and rehabilitation, training and health education.
“This is something that is needed for the community,” he said.  “This is a wonderful opportunity for us.”
Services for seniors are needed here, he emphasized.
“I haven't reviewed the demographics of Taft city, but I'm confident there is a significant number of elderly people in your community,” he said.
Navarro indicated planning for a facility is in its infancy.
“So far, we are still selecting the program site,” he said.  “Our target date is as soon as possible.  Our group is ready to begin.”
He sought Chamber assistance in looking for potential locations.
“We will be glad if you can assist us in choosing a suitable site for this facility.”
Financing efforts also have just begun.
“In terms of funding, our company is looking for loans, grants and other forms of financial assistance,” Navarro said.
In response to a question, he said development of a budget “will depend on capacity.  We may start out with a 49-bed or smaller, if necessary, but the target is 99 beds.”
To get the project rolling he said his group might look at renting space, perhaps even “two or three houses.”
Licensing and certification is another hurdle, and that will take as long as six months, Navarro said.
Bob Gorson, who resigned the night before as Taft city manager, pointed to efforts spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Taft to return a hospital to the community.  The group has launched a fund-raising drive and has $10,000 in donations so far.
Navarro said he is willing to work with that group and the West Side Health Care District.